Novelties Lead C-Store Confection Growth

Assorted candy

Fruity confection, with an accent on novelties, continues to outpace its chocolate candy counterparts. Continuing an ongoing trend over the past several years, c-store nonchocolates rose 19.1% dollars and 8.9% units to amass $2.76 billion in sales. Unlike chocolates, novelty nonchocolates proved a hot segment with 41.2% dollar growth.

On the novelty side, CandyRific recently expanded its lineup with a Jurassic World-themed fan, while Hilco is collaborating again with Kraft Heinz on the launch of Kool-Aid-themed treats for Halloween.

The chocolate upside is that consumers remain bullish on it. For the 52-week period ending April 17, chocolates saw dollar sales rise 8.1% and units 1.9% to amass $3.22 billion in U.S. c-store sales, according to Chicago-based IRI. Gift boxes (62.3%) and sugar-free (44.1%) paced the segment, while chocolate snack sizes (down 15.3%) and novelties (down 9.1%) lost dollar power.

Read ahead for a collection of recent releases in confection.

Gerrit J. Verburg expanded its portfolio of nostalgic sweets with MiniMini Chicles Gum, available in fruit-flavored and sugar-free peppermint. The product consists of tiny bits of candy-coated gum in an easy-to-tear, easy-to-pour pouch. The fruit-flavored offering features orange, pink and yellow colors in a 0.79-ounce pouch. Sugar-free Peppermint Chicles come in a 0.58-ounce pouch. Each pack has an SRP of $1, shipping in 12 (20-count) displays per case.

Hilco collaborated with Kraft Heinz on Kool-Aid-themed treats for Halloween 2022, including Kool-Aid Ghoul-Aid Popping Candy. Each Kool-Aid Ghoul-Aid peg bag contains three pouches of popping candy in a Scary Berry flavor. The 0.74-ounce peg bag has an SRP of $1.99. In addition, Hilco joins Impact Confections to offer three-pack Popping Candy peg bags for Halloween with Warheads Sour flavors.

Hi-Chew (Morinaga America Inc.) expanded its portfolio with Hi-Chew Fantasy Mix, which features three new flavors: Rainbow Sherbet, Blue Hawaii and Blue Raspberry. Rainbow Sherbet offers layers of raspberry, lime and orange flavor; Blue Hawaii has notes of citrus and hints of pineapple; and Blue Raspberry has a true-to-flavor profile, the company said.

Haribo celebrated the 100th birthday of its original Goldbears gummy brand with two new flavors: Goldbears Pineapple and Goldbears Blue-Raspberry. It’s also releasing, for a limited time, original Goldbears mixed-flavored gummies in a new shape: Party Hats. The limited-edition mix will be available throughout 2022, and a third additional new flavor is scheduled to release later this year.

CandyRific expanded its lineup of candy novelties with a Jurassic World-themed fan. Available prior to the June 2022 release of the “Jurassic World Dominion film,” the novelty light-up fan (SRP $5.99) has a tyrannosaurus stretching up to attack a helicopter, based on the “Jurassic World” movie franchise. The fan includes 0.53 ounces of assorted fruit-flavored dextrose candies (natural flavors and colors).

Bazooka Candy Brands’ new Juicy Drop Remix chewy candies (SRP range $1.79-$1.99) come in an innovative container that features both sweet and sour flavors. A dual-compartment dispenser allows users to slide to the left for sweet chewy candies or to the right for sour. Three flavors are available: Knock-Out Punch, Blue Rebel and Wild Cherry Berry.

Bazooka also launched Juicy Drop Gummy Dip ‘N Stix, which has a center compartment of fruit-flavored sour gel for dipping the chewy candy sticks into. Four flavors are available: Knock-Out Punch, Blue Rebel, Wild Cherry Berry and Watermelon Blast. A grab-and-go container has an SRP range of $1.79 to $1.99. 

Laff Bites Tropical features dual-textured, bite-size confection that combines taffy with a tropical flavor drop in the center and a hard candy shell. Three sizes are available: 2-ounce single pegs (SRP $1.29), 3-ounce pegs (SRP $1.39) and 6-ounce pegs (SRP $2.69). Laff Bites are also available in Gone Bananas Banana-only bags and assorted bags with four flavors: Cherry, Strawberry, Green Apple and Blue Raspberry.