Healthy confectionery gains market share worldwide

By Gavin Kermack

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Health, Obesity, Euromonitor

Sugar-free candy and sweet products offering specific health benefits are set to increase rapidly in popularity over the next few years, answering a growing market demand for functional confectionery and rising fears over the alleged obesity epidemic.

According to a report from Business Insights, by 2011 the overall confectionery market in Europe and the US will be worth $97.5 billion (€66.75 billion). European countries in particular are showing strong growth rates in the healthy confectionery sector and will continue to do so.

According to data from AC Nielsen/ Euromonitor, the UK’s sugar-free confectionery currently holds a market share of 11 per cent, having grown by 18 per cent since last year – compared to a total market growth of 2 per cent. In France sales of sugared confectionery have actually dropped by 5 per cent, whereas sugar-free products have grown by 11 per cent, bringing their market share to 35 per cent.

The sugar-free market is strongest in Spain, where it accounts for 50 per cent of sales, having grown by 5 per cent. The functional confectionery market here will increase from $51 million (€34.8 million) in 2001 to $227 million (€155 million) in 2011, according to the AC Nielsen/ Euromonitor data.

Overall, while sugared confectionery still holds the largest share of all healthy confectionery products launched, its position seems to be weakening – in 2007 it accounted for 39.5 per cent of sales, a decrease of over 6 per cent from three years previously.

Public health awareness

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that in 2005, at least 400 million adults worldwide were obese, with this figure expected to increase to 700 million by 2015 (with 2.3 billion adults overall classed as overweight). The UK, the US and Germany – three of the largest confectionery markets in the world – are amongst those countries with the largest numbers of people who are obese, overweight and suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Public awareness of the health benefits of losing weight is growing, though, with 36 per cent of Americans currently trying to reduce the risk of developing a health condition. This may explain the trend towards sugar-free products and it could have a huge impact on new product development (NDP).

Health and wellness takes centre stage

Confectionery manufacturers are hoping to capitalise on the increased demand for healthier products, marketing their goods as comparable in taste to the sugared versions but without the health drawbacks. Beneo-Palatinit claims that in blind taste tests the majority of consumers preferred the flavour of their sweets made with its Isomalt branded ingredient.

Wellbeing is also becoming a major focus for many confectionery manufacturers, with further growth expected – particularly in Europe – in the functional, energy and sports products market. The world’s largest food manufacturer, Nestlé, for instance, has confirmed plans for future investments in this sector.

Source: Indulgence and Health in Confectionery: Emerging natural, functional and wellness trends​Author: H.

Related topics: Markets, Ingredients

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