Emerging confection trends track pandemic-based desire for escape, connection & safety

The event, which also featured education sessions and networking opportunities for manufacturers, brokers and suppliers, was simultaneously a symbol of America’s much-anticipated reopening after 15 months of lockdown and a capstone to National Candy Month, which helps bridge the sales gap between major holidays in the spring and fall by reminding consumers of the emotional connections sweet treats can help forge.

The show also revealed how industry players are navigating a quickly evolving landscape altered by the pandemic, economic slowdown and now the reopening – including new trends around channel distribution, pack size and product configuration and flavor trends.

In this episode of FoodNavigator-USA’s Soup-To-Nuts Podcast​, National Confectioners Association senior vice president of public affairs and communications Christopher Gindlesperger shares details about these emerging trends, what is driving the sweets and snacks markets and where the segments are heading.

[Editor’s note: Never miss another episode of FoodNavigator-USA’s Soup-To-Nuts podcast – subscribe​ today.]

The State of Sweets & Snacks is industry is strong

While the pandemic changed the way many Americans approached food and beverage, including what they bought, how much they purchased and where they shopped – NCA’s 2021 State of Treating report released in March showed that for many people treats offer an emotional connection and way to engage with friends and family safely while still at a distance.

According to the report, US confectionary sales fell slightly by 0.2% to $36.7bn in 2020 compared to 2019, but most of this drop appears to be from lower sales of gum and mints, which fell 22.7% to $3.9bn and represents 12% of the category’s performance.

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