I don’t know many people who honestly can say they don’t like—let alone love—candy. It’s as American as apple pie for goodness sake. And due to its indulgent nature, the global confectionery market rang up nearly $200 billion in sweet sales during 2014.
According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), about 123 million U.S. households purchase chocolate, non-chocolate candy, gum or mints each year. In fact, candy is enjoyed across every age, demographic group and lifestyle, meaning that it has a high household-purchase rate and produces about $35 billion in retail sales annually in the United States.
And while today’s candy choices are more than plentiful, results of a new survey from Canadean reveal six out of 10 consumers like confectionery that reminds them of their childhood. What’s more, consumers are feeling busier than ever, but at the same time disposable incomes are rising. This means that consumers are able to treat themselves more regularly and relieve pressure and stress with nostalgic products.
This means confectionery manufacturers should capture the attention of these stressed consumers via their ever-growing desire for nostalgia. “Consumers can be targeted with limited editions of popular confectionery that remind them of their childhood. This allows brands to charge a premium price for the product, as shoppers are willing to pay more for an exclusive experience and the chance to elicit happy memories," said Joanne Hardman, analyst at Canadean.
I must admit the survey results brought back fond memories of my grade school days at St. Gregory’s in Phoenix. Every day after school kids clambered to Sr. Deborah’s snack bar offering up their hard-earned nickels and dimes for all kinds of goodies like Blow Pops, Hot Tamales, Pop Rocks, Wax Lips, Atomic Fireballs, Wonka Bottle Caps and King’s Candy Cigarettes—which I am sure would be frowned upon by the good sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVMs) today.
Memories of those confections bring back lots of good memories, but time marches on and candy makers must keep an eye on trends and what consumers want. This was evident at the 2015 Sweets & Snacks Expo. Check out the “2015 Sweets & Snacks Expo Award Winners" Image Gallery to see the companies and products that walked away with sweet awards.