Innovation in the candy category has meant new flavors and size variation in recent months, giving convenience retailers additional category-management decisions in right-sizing sets across both chocolate and nonchocolate segments.
According to Mintel’s confectionery report of 2018—one that continues to hold trend sustainability in early 2020—U.S. chocolate buyers have established a firm wish list: They want to see chocolate in mini bars or bites (49%). And 75% of chocolate buyers said single-serve or bite-sized chocolate is a good way to ensure portion control, according to Chicago-based Mintel.
Total U.S. sales of nonchocolate confections have grown 15% since 2012, reaching an estimated $8 billion by 2018 and driven by chewy candy, the fastest-growing segment, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).
“Chocolate confectionery is available in nearly infinite forms, flavors and combinations, but many chocolate purchasers gravitate to what they know,” said John Owen, senior food and drink analyst for Mintel. “While bite-sized chocolate may get credit for being a good way to limit consumption, the 'munchability' and shareability of mini-sized products might actually make the form a good way to drive increased consumption, with consumers reaching for an extra handful.”
Click through for a snapshot of seven recently launched confections across both chocolate and nonchocolate formats.