Seasonal

Consumer confidence for seasonal chocolate and candy creates growth opportunities - new report finds

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

94% of Americans surveyed say seasonal treats help to create memories. Pic: GettyImages
94% of Americans surveyed say seasonal treats help to create memories. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags Nca Chocolate Confectionery Candy

A new report from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) has found that 64% of total chocolate and candy sales in the US are attributed to the big four seasons – Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and the winter holidays - ensuring that confectionery products continue to enhance special occasions and the category remains strong year-round.

The report, Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate & Candy Consumers, offers an indepth look at the trends, attitudes and behaviours related to confectionery treating during the four main seasonal moments, as well as secondary seasons and micro-occasions such as Mother’s Day and back-to-school. The report also explores innovation and merchandising opportunities for manufacturers and retailers related to introducing new seasonal products to shoppers – especially important since 88% of consumers report they like to see new items when browsing for seasonal chocolate and candy.

Speaking exclusively to ConfectioneryNews on the report’s findings, John Downs, president and CEO of the NCA, said: "We’ve always known that these treats can enhance any occasion – or even an ordinary day – but NCA’s newest report, Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate & Candy Consumers, reinforces just how important a role seasonal chocolate and candy play in the holiday celebrations of consumers across the United States.

“And it’s for good reason: seasonal treating is deeply rooted in tradition. Nearly all Americans agree that these seasonal treats are part of their great memories – from happy times and reminders of sharing with loved ones to the classic, unmatched feeling of nostalgia so often tied to chocolate and candy.”

 C​onsumers are still making room in their budgets for these affordable treats -- John Downs, president and CEO of the NCA

94% of Americans surveyed say seasonal treats help to create memories, which means the time-honoured tradition of sharing a little bit of confectionery is an important consideration for consumers when they purchase chocolate and candy. The report is important for the US confectionery industry because it shares key insights for confectionery manufacturers and retailers as they consider the future of seasonal treating, including identifying the opportunities to ensure that Gen Z and Millennials build the same emotional connections to chocolate and candy as older generations.

Downs said since 88% of consumers report they like to see new items when browsing for seasonal chocolate and candy, they’ll be interested in new seasonal treats right "alongside the classic favourites that bring about those feelings of nostalgia​".

He also spoke to ConfectioneryNews about the state of the economy, which in the US at least, appears to be resilient with consumer spending in general way up to almost pre-pandemic levels.

NCA seasonal candy report 23 grab
Source: NCA

Nevertheless, Downs issued a word of caution: “Given the state of the economy, I would be remiss to not mention inflation and other economic pressures. But in the face of these challenges, consumers are still making room in their budgets for these affordable treats.

“The report finds that economic conditions are certainly influencing purchases but rather than not participate in seasons, consumers will look for sales specials and shop around for price points that meet their budgets."

Downs, who has been an effective spokesperson for the industry in championing its economic and social contribution to the fabric of the country, added: “No matter which holidays you observe throughout the year, there’s something uniquely special about seasons that allow us to form connections to our past and present – and it’s a true honour to know that chocolate and candy are enhancing those moments of celebration for people all over the country and all throughout the year.”

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