The market for confectionery in India was worth close to US$1.3bn in 2013 and is expected to grow by 71% to reach US$2.2 billion in 2018.
Economic growth and development has resulted in rising disposable incomes, especially among the middle-class. According to research specialist Canadean, this demographic accounts for 45% of overall confectionery consumption in the country, and more than half of the consumed confectionery is gum.
A luxury for the middle-class
“In India, gum is seen as a luxury item, with branded products predominantly available in urban areas,” said Safwan Kotwal, analyst at Canadean.
“This is especially true for gum that provides fresh and minty breath, as it portrays a professional and well-groomed image that is becoming more vital to success in the Indian workplace."
Because of India’s largely hot climate, consumers often prefer gums and jellies over chocolate, especially in the summer months. Kotwal found that sugar confectionery and gum will outsell chocolate in volume terms, with gum expected to see an increase of 64% in volume consumption by 2018, compared to growth of only 41% in chocolate consumption.
Climate affects market performance
Weather plays a vital role for sugar confectionery and gum sales, though when translated into value terms, the chocolate market still dominates and its value should cross the US$1bn mark in 2018, Kotwal said.
Although the report shows that gum is becoming more popular among adults, sweets and toffees will stay firm favourites with children and continue to be high in demand.
Kids of nine years and younger accounted for almost one-quarter of sugar confectionery and chocolate consumption in 2013, said Kotwal.
“Consumers in this age group, like in any other country, have a preference for sweet tasting products, which will be further enhanced as they develop their tastes and preferences for certain brands and products.”