Over 140 ConfectioneryNews readers – the majority of whom are based in the US - responded to our post-election poll on the business impact of a Trump presidency.
Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th US president on January 20, 2017.
US confectionery trade
The bulk of poll respondents (37%) expect Trump’s presidency will have a negative impact on the US confectionery industry.
The US confectionery market is worth $35bn in annual retail value sales, according to the country’s National Confectionery Association (NCA).
Revenues are expected to grow at a 1.57% compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 2020, said market research firm Technavio in June this year.
Some respondents said they expect less trade, higher import duties and increased inflation.
However, 24% anticipate a positive impact.
One respondent said: “His tax reform will be hugely beneficial [and] is designed for small and medium enterprises.”
Another said that Trump may challenge the US farm bill’s sugar program, which some industry players say leaves domestic companies at a disadvantage by paying significantly above the world sugar price.
US confectionery exports
The majority of ConfectioneryNews respondents (47%) predict Trump will have a negative impact on US confectionery exports.
The US exports $2bn worth of chocolate, candy, gum, mints and bulk chocolate products around the world, with 40% going to Canada ($900 million) and 15% ($300 million) to Mexico.
Trump has called North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which lowers trade restrictions between the US and Canada and Mexico, “the worst trade deal ever”, and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) the “rape of our country”.
Most of our respondents (45%) said Trump will have a damaging influence on the confectionery industry outside the US.
The US imported $872m of confectionery and bakery products in June this year, according to the US Census Bureau.
Some respondents fear a protectionist approach. One said:” Import taxes will go higher,” and another said Europe could retaliate with higher taxes on American candy imports.
“If he tries to change the very successful (for all parties) NAFTA agreement, it will have a negative impact on all concerned,” said one commenter.
Manufacturing costs and jobs
Other respondents were positive on Trump’s potential impact on US manufacturing. One said he would help keep jobs in America.
Trump has pledged to bring manufacturing jobs back to country and has vowed never to eat Oreos after Mondelēz recently shifted production from Chicago to Mexico.
Some packaging exhibitors at Pack Expo in Chicago this month said his promise may be empty, given the rise in automation technologies.
Around half of our survey respondents expect higher manufacturing and logistics costs for confections when Trump becomes president.
The bulk of respondents anticipated higher costs for commodities, such as cocoa and sugar.
ICE (New York) cocoa futures were at $2,474 per metric ton on November 9, election results day.
This was the lowest level in the last two years and prices have continued to fall daily since last Wednesday.
Sugar No. 11 Futures were at US¢22.11 per pound on election results day.
Prices have been on the up since February this year and were trading for US¢14.01 on average on November 9, 2015.
Further reading...How US candy lobbying dollars were spent in election year