Health concerns fail to sour the market for sweet makers
eating, according to a new sector report.
In their examination of chocolate – including blocks, boxed and bite-sized – and sugar confectionery such as fruit sweets, mints and chewing gum, analysts at Key Note market research predicted that the move towards healthier eating arising from global obesity concerns would not adversely affect the market. Despite sweet makers facing increasing pressure over the issues of advertising, children's confectionery and product formulation, the report said: "The UK is unlikely to lose its place as one of the world's major per-capita consumers of confectionery and the outlook for the market remains positive." Between 2001 and 2005, the UK confectionery market grew to a value of £4.53 billion (€6.72bn) with chocolate accounting for almost 75 per cent of sales and boxed, premium items particularly driving growth. According to the Key Note report, sugar confectionery struggled with a dip in child consumers and was forced into innovation along health lines. Oral health products have been particularly evident in recent years with gum makers introducing breath-freshening and tooth-whitening products to market. Candy manufacturers have met the demand for healthier products by reformulating standard brands and removing artificial flavourings and additives – replacing them with fruit juices and other natural ingredients. Consolidation in the market continues to be a major issue with the sector remaining dominated by three companies: Cadbury, Nestlé and Masterfoods. These market giants have concentrated on expanding existing brands into new product areas to create umbrella brands out of well-established core products.