6 Key Confectionery Market Trends to Watch

October 3, 2023

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Confectionery is one of the strongest-selling segments in the Food and Beverage industry.

As a feel-good category, the confectionery industry reaches far beyond satisfying our basic needs to offer moments of joy, stimulation, and fun.

Confectionery industry trends are evolving to reflect the pace of changes in consumer preferences, experimental flavors, and sustainability.

According to the data published by Statista, the confectionery market amounts to US$1.1tn in 2023 and is expected to grow at 5.88% annually (2023-2028).

Asia-Pacific region has the largest share in the confectionery market, which amounts to US$443.2 bn in 2023 and is expected to grow by 5.47% annually (2023-2028).

Here are the top 6 key sweets confectionery industry trends that we will be discussing:

  1. Health-Conscious Confection Consumers
  2. Increased Demand for Premium and Artisan Chocolates
  3. Adoption of Sustainable Packaging
  4. Growing Variety of Confectionery Delights
  5. Rise of Plant-Based Confections
  6. Transparency and Ethical Sourcing

Top 6 Confectionery Market Trends

Whether starting a food business or already in the game, you need to consider the confectionery market trend to up your game.

Consumers are likely to continue to indulge in their favorite confectionery treats, but they are looking for something different to spice up their indulgence.

Look at the 6 confectionery market trends that will transform the industry.

confectionery market top trends

1. Health-Conscious Confection Consumers

Consumers are increasingly prioritizing their health without compromising on taste. According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), sales of chocolates and candy are at an all-time high.

Health-conscious individuals are now relishing confections designed to satisfy cravings without the sugar rush. For example, sugar-free options such as hard-boiled sweets, gummy sweets, and chewing gum are becoming increasingly popular.

2. Increased Demand for Premium and Artisan Chocolates

The seismic preference shift reflects a growing appreciation for artisan and premium delectable treats.

The Premium Chocolate Market size is estimated at USD 30.90 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 46.12 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 8.34% during the forecast period (2023-2028).

Consumers look at content, texture, and provenance claims when assessing quality and deciding whether to purchase premium chocolate.

Consumers are willing to invest in exceptional quality and show concern for ethical sourcing. Wholesale food suppliers in the confectionery industry focus on establishing direct relationships with cacao farmers, ensuring fair wages and sustainable farming practices.

3. Adoption of Sustainable Packaging

confectionery industry adoption of sustainable packaging

Packaging is an integral part of the confectionery industry, as we know that kids eat with their eyes, and the truth is, so do adults.

According to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, 66% of all respondents say that they consider sustainability when they make a purchase. Consumers now prefer brands that value sustainability and focus on environmental stability.

As demand for sustainability grows, the confectionery industry has been pressured to adopt more eco-friendly practices in packaging processes and materials for sweets and snacks.

Confectionery companies worldwide continue to lead purposefully and embrace opportunities to drive growth and agility.

Also, as the hotel food and beverage services continue to flourish and collaborate with confectionery companies, they face a growing concern about sustainable packaging.

4. Growing Variety of Confectionery Delights

consumers buying more confectionery items

Consumers consider variety when shopping for confectionery delights.

A game changer for the confectionery industry, personalized and novelty confectionery is a delightful fusion of creativity and sweetness that consumers increasingly demand.

As a confectionary market trend, confectioners cater to individual preferences and special occasions by providing a variety of confectionery delights.

The population’s demand for new flavors is increasing and will drive the Asia-Pacific food flavors market. From custom-shaped chocolates to personalized candy wrappers, a touch of personalization and variety captivate consumers.

5. Rise of Plant-Based Confections

Consumption habits have changed. Conscious consumerism has given rise to plant-based confessions, creating a unique opportunity in the industry.

Plant-based eating is growing exponentially and is expected to reach US$77.8 million in 2025. Also, consumers are seeking vegan options in confectionery products.

The driving force behind the rise of plant-based confections includes cruelty-free alternatives, confectionery manufacturers, innovative ingredients, and environmentally friendly treats.

Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing regional market for plant-based chocolate due to the rising cases of lactose intolerance and the increasing popularity of plant-forward diets.

Also, the youth consumer expectations have changed, and they want to ensure they consume ethical confectionery items that don’t harm animals or the planet.

6. Transparency and Ethical Sourcing

Consumers increasingly seek information about where and how products are made as they become more conscious of their purchases’ environmental and ethical implications. It has created a  confectionary market trend for transparency and ethical sourcing.

For example, Fair Trade, Organic, and Rainforest Alliance provide consumers with assurance that products are produced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

Many confectioners are incorporating blockchain technology to enable real-time tracking of products, ensuring authenticity and ethical sourcing.

Moreover, businesses are now disclosing supplier information, labor conditions, and environmental practices to offer consumers greater insight into their operations and build credibility in the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the current market valuation of the confectionery industry?

The current market valuation of the confectionery industry amounts to US$1.1 tn in 2023 and is expected to grow annually by 5.88% (CAGR 2023-2028).

Who are the key players in the sugar confectionery market?

The key players in the sugar confectionery market are:

  • Anthony-Thomas Candy Co.
  • Cloetta AB
  • Ferrara Candy Company
  • Chupa Chups SA
  • Nestle SA, Cadbury PLC
  • Ferrero SpA
  • The Hershey Company
  • Lotte Confectionery Co Ltd

Closing Thoughts

The confectionery industry is very competitive. The industry will evolve through the confectionery market trends driven by consumer preferences and industry innovations.

Consumers are seeking treats that are not only delicious but also better for their well-being and sustainability, ensure ethical considerations, deliver mental wellness, and offer variety among premium chocolates.

With no signs of stopping, as a confectioner, you must avail yourself of benefits by attending the F&B exhibition and continue to unlock opportunities that can deliver profitability, which is the ultimate goal.

The industry has so far been able to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic and economic outburst, yet continued to deliver tremendous results in sales, consumer satisfaction, and experiences.

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