The global confectionery market reached 12.7 billion tonnes in 2000, increasing by 8.5 per cent globally from 1996-2000, and proving resistant to the much-hyped rise of health-conscious eating, according to a report from market analysts Euromonitor International.
Western Europe, and in particular, Denmark, is leading the growth. Euromonitor packaged food account manager Eric Combelles said: "Globally we consume an annual average of 2.1kgs of confectionery, with Western European figures just over four times as high. But it is the Danes who record the highest rates of consumption at an amazing 1,167.6kgs of confectionery over a expected life span of 69.5 years."
Traditionally high consumers of confectionery, the Danes have an average obesity rate of 14.75 per cent, interestingly lower than the United Kingdom and United States averages of 19.9 per cent and 22.5 per cent respectively.
However obesity is on the rise along with the Danish confectionery market, which now sees sales amounting to over 89,400 tonnes in 2000, with volume growth of 4.5 per cent between 1996 and 2000 and by just over 1 per cent on 1999, claimed the report.
Sugar confectionery was the major force for growth in the Danish market, increasing by 8.4 per cent in volume terms over the review period as a whole and by 2 per cent over the 1999-2000 period.
The report found that much of the increase came from higher consumption among children and teenagers. Manufacturers have exploited this and focused marketing efforts on a young audience.
The volume increase for chocolate confectionery however was limited to just 0.8 per cent between 1996 and 2000, and actually saw a slight decline over 1999-2000.The split between chocolate and sugar confectionery in volume terms is 48 per cent and 49 per cent respectively.
The growth in the market can be partially explained by changing sociological behaviour. Extended working hours and reduced leisure time has resulted in the increased importance of supermarkets in packed food distribution over in recent years. This growth demand of supermarkets had a positive effect on the confectionery sales, as sweets are normally merchandised close to the checkout encouraging impulse purchases.
Higher levels of disposable income drove an increase in premium-branded confectionery products. With the luxury of additional resources, branded products focused on promotional and advertising activities, communicating a message of superior quality to consumers.
Danish consumers have less and less time to spend on shopping as they are working increasingly long hours and like to spend their free time engaged in leisure activities rather than food shopping.
Euromonitor estimated that total sales of confectionery will continue to grow in volume as well as value terms over the forecast period. Value growth is estimated to reach 4.3 per cent in constant terms, with volume growth of 4.9 per cent. Total per capita consumption is estimated to reach 17.6kgs in 2005, an increase of just under 1 per cent on 2000.