Non-Chocolate Candy Leads the Way in 2022, Per NCA

The new report details how candy consumption changed in 2022, with plenty of room for private brands to venture into the candy segment.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
Zachary Russell profile picture

The National Confectioners Association (NCA) and IRI have released a new report detailing how the candy industry fared in 2022, giving retailers an idea of how to build private brands going forward.

The report, titled Getting to Know Candy Consumers 2022, found that candy unit sales grew by 3.1% from 2021 to 2022, and that due to inflation, the dollar sales increased by 13.7%.  The four big candy holidays (Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and winter holidays) represent 61.2% of total category sales.

Helping lead the growth, according to the trade group, is non-chocolate candy, which includes gummies, chewy candy, hard candy and more.

“The sales forecast for non-chocolate candy is bright,” said NCA in the report. “While current sales and consumption patterns are very similar across incomes, gender, ages, regions and ethnicities, category growth is predominantly driven by Gen Z and Millennials. Non-chocolate candy is expected to reach $20 billion in the total market by 2027, including alternative channels, online and vending, according to Euromonitor.”

Like many other CPG categories, wellness is playing a large role in the candy segment as more Americans look for healthier sweets options. According to the report, 10% of the population frequently purchases better-for-you candy options. Around three in 10 candy consumers are highly interested in purchasing their favorite candies in all natural, lower sugar or sugar-free options, with above increased purchase interest among younger shoppers.

For retailers looking to expand private label candy options, there is plenty of room for improvement. The report says that in 2022, private brands represented a very small part of the non-chocolate candy business at only 4.5%.

The full report can be found here.