The German bear: Which brand is helping US sugar confectionery outpace chocolate?

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Haribo Gold Bear winning market share in fast-growing US non-chocolate segment. ©GettyImages/Bertl123
Haribo Gold Bear winning market share in fast-growing US non-chocolate segment. ©GettyImages/Bertl123
Non-chocolate confectionery grew at a faster rate than chocolate in the US for the first half of 2017, driven in part by one strongly performing brand.

Dollar sales for non-chocolate grew +4.5% in the first half (H1) to reach $3.92bn, according to IRI data for the latest 26 weeks ending June 25, 2017.

US chocolate sales rose only +2.5% over the same period to $6.88bn.

Chewy candy, novelties and mints were standout performers in US non-chocolate, as well as a renowned confectioner whose US presence is growing rapidly.

non chococlate categories

[Source: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide​​​), H1 2017, Total U.S. Multi-Outlet w/ C-Store (Supermarkets, Drugstores, Mass Market Retailers, Gas/C-Stores, Military Commissaries and Select Club & Dollar Retail Chains)]

Haribo winning market share

German company Haribo is gaining market share in chewy candy, the largest non-chocolate segment by dollar sales, at the expense of leaders Wrigley and Mondelēz.

Haribo grew its market share in the segment +1.3% as its sales of non-chocolate chewy candy in the US climbed +32.5% to $113.8m in H1.

It is still the fifth in the category behind Wrigley, Mondelēz, Ferrara Candy and private label.

But all its main rivals lost market share, except Ferrara.

non chocolate breakdown

2020 factory: Haribo growing in America

Haribo entered the US in 1982 when it opened a sales office in Baltimore, Maryland.

Haribo of America is today headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois. In October this year, it announced​ 55 new jobs at its US headquarters, taking the workforce to 114 full-time employees. 

The company currently imports products to the US from its European factories.

But it plans open its first factory in the US by 2020​ in Kenosha County, in southeast Wisconsin. 

The 500,000 sq ft facility will be one of the world’s largest confectionery factories, according to Haribo of America’s CFO.

The company expects to almost double its US workforce by 2021.

haribo plane Getty Images typhoonski
Gold Bear taking off: Haribo expects to almost double its US workforce by 2021. ©GettyImages/typhoonski

The Gold Bear

Haribo’s Gold Bear brand has been its US growth driver.

US Gold Bear sales in H1 grew +30.8% to $74.6m, making it the fifth bestseller in US non-chocolate chewy candy.

The brand is cheaper than its main branded competitors.

Average unit prices for Gold Bears was $1.63 in H1, making it cheaper than average prices for Skittles ($1.70), Starburst ($1.92) and Sourpatch Kids ($1.83).

Top 10 players in US chewy candy (H1 2017)

top 10 candy brands

Source: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide​​​), H1 2017, Total U.S. Multi-Outlet w/ C-Store (Supermarkets, Drugstores, Mass Market Retailers, Gas/C-Stores, Military Commissaries and Select Club & Dollar Retail Chains)

swt_college_gummies
In September last year, Nestlé USA launched limited edition SweeTARTS Gummies featuring school mascots from UCLA, University of Texas, University of Tennessee, The Ohio State University and University of Arkansas, priced at $1.79 for a 5.25 oz bag. This year it expanded the range to include 10 colleges ahead of the 2017-2018 college football season.

Mints & novelties

The US mint segment is also a rising star driven by smaller companies.

Wrigley’s Lifesavers plain mints and Perfetti Van Melle’s Mentos mints – the market leading brands - both lost market share in H1.

However, Tootsie Roll’s Junior Mints, Ferrara Candy’s Bobs Sweet Stripes and Piedmont Candy’s Red Bird brand made strong dollar sale gains.

Novelty non-chocolate was up +18.7% to $341.3m in H1 driven by huge growth for Nestlé USA’s SweeTarts novelty candy.

SweeTarts launched a limited edition range of gummies in partnership with college football teams last year.

Changing hands: Ones to watch

m&a mergers acquistions
©GettyImages/designer491

The US sugar confectionery segment is poised for change.

The Ferrero Group announced in October 2017 it would acquire Ferrara Candy​, brand owner of Trolli and Black Forest Organics.

Nestlé USA’s confectionery business is also up for sale​, including sugar confectionery brands SweeTarts, LaffyTaffy, Nerds, FunDip, PixyStix, Gobstopper, BottleCaps, Spree and Runts.

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1 comment

Haribo sales increase.

Posted by Jim Kenyon,

Good thing I got them to make a 4oz. pack.

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