Following up on similar findings on the beverage industry, consumer research group Global Industry Analysts says the perception of candy products as a low-cost comfort food will buoy market sales, even in recession-hit economies.
In its latest report on the candy market, the analyst says a shift towards using functional ingredients and the so-called ‘westernisation’ of emerging markets in Asia and Eastern Europe will further solidify confectionery’s transformation into a staple snack worldwide.
Particularly in less established markets like China, Mexico, Indonesia and Eastern Europe, a drive to adapt to more westernised confectionary tastes will push sugar candy and chocolate sales in the future, the report stated.
A focus on more exotic flavours and organic herbal fillings being included in confectionery is therefore expected to become more commonplace in all consumer markets.
While women and children are expected to remain the core consumer base for candy growth, a more adult focus on products such as wine truffles, nicotine gums and caffeine induced sweets will be noticeable, the analyst said.
Global Industry Analysts says that beyond product formulation, the actual packaging being used to store confectionery will also become increasingly important to customers.
“Innovative packaging strategies, including use of attractive jars, bags and tubs, family-sized packs, and resealable packaging, are expected to lure customers and contribute to higher product sales,” stated the analyst.
The report claims that for both these strategies to be truly effective though, sustained advertising campaigns and efficient distribution will also be required from manufacturers.
Despite current concerns over cost effectiveness across food manufacturing, Global Industry Analysts says another clear trend within the modern confectionery market appears to be large-scale investment.
“The industry is channelling investment into research to develop newer confectionery mixes that are 'healthful' and delicious,” stated the report. “Promotional expenditure is escalating due to heightened ad counts per year and growing number of distribution outlets per area.”
Key to this marketing push will be attempts to play up potential ‘health’ or wellness benefits in the confectionery as opposed to the sense of indulgence often associated with confectionery products, says the analyst.
Despite the importance of children to confectioners, ageing populations around the world could potentially create increasing potential for sugar free and medicated products for elderly consumers, amidst an overall rise in health consciousness.
“For instance, demand for sugar-free candy is forecast to grow appreciably buoyed by shifting preferences of people towards healthier low carbohydrate diets in majority of the developed countries,” the analyst said. “The trend is expected to catch up rapidly in developing countries as well.”
Similarly, growing concerns over obesity levels, particularly in children, is set to spur major growth for sugarless and even organic candy products, according to the report.