The summer selling season doesn’t scream “confection” quite as loudly as late-year seasonal selling opportunities do—namely around Halloween and Christmas.
Grocery retailers have been planning for an influx of new offerings as they downscale various existing SKUs both in-line and at other hot selling zones. Confection as gift-giving is a holiday selling magnet.
The National Confectioners Association’s (NCA) 2021 State of Treating report indicated that a combination of comfort snacking and return to celebrations helped propel chocolate and candy sales to an 11% gain in 2021.
Consumers’ cravings for these sweet treats led the category to top $36.9 billion reflecting multi outlet retail sales in 2021.
Performances were strong across the category. Sales of chocolate products increased 9.2% and sales of non-chocolate candies rose a robust 14.5% during the year period—paced by limited-time novelty items that are typically the domain of non-chocolates.
Grocery has been a solid channel for growth in 2021, as NCA said that 71% of consumers report they mostly buy chocolate and candy at their primary grocery store. Sales at grocery reached $7.6 billion last year, with a 6.3% jump in dollar sales and a 0.1% bump in unit sales.
Read ahead for a showcasing of eight chocolate and non-chocolate confections to make supermarket debuts in 2022 ...
USDA Organic and Fair Trade-certified, Hu Organic Grass-Fed Milk Chocolate is available in five flavors: Simple (milk chocolate made with four simple ingredients); Hazelnut Butter + Crunchy Hazelnut (creamy hazelnut butter mixed with crunchy chopped hazelnut pieces); Cashew Butter (creamy cashew butter with hint of sea salt); Crunchy Almond + Coconut Flakes (crunchy chopped almonds and coconut flakes); and Almond Butter + Almond Crunch (creamy almond butter mixed with crunchy chopped almond pieces). All varieties are available for an SRP range of $5 to $6.
Naturally flavored and with no added sugar, Lily’s Sweet Fruity Gummy Bears and Lily’s Tart and Tasty Sour Gummy Worms launched nationwide. The bears come in four flavors: Raspberry, Strawberry, Orange and Lemon. The worms come in Lemon-Raspberry and Apple-Peach flavors. Both treats contain less than 1 gram of total sugar and come in 1.8-ounce bags.
Hi-Chew (Morinaga) expands its chewlets portfolio with Hi-Chew Infrusions Orchard Mix, which features pockets of flavor and come in Juicy Blood Orange, Juicy Peach and Juicy Strawberry flavors. Infrusions are infused with concentrated apple puree and pieces of pectin jelly. Hi-Chew contains no colors from synthetic sources and is gluten-free. Infrusions Orchard Mix comes in a 4-ounce standup pouch for an SRP of $4.29.
Reese’s Pantry Pack (The Hershey Co.) is a stackable, portable and organizable package that holds 25 individually wrapped snack-size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. “Stack it, pack it, freeze it, organize it. Now our fans can create their very own Reese's corner of the pantry, fridge, freezer, desk—you name it,” said Bo Jones, Reese's brand team member.
Dream Pops expanded into the shelf-stable confection aisle with Dream Pops Crunch and Dream Pops Drip. Dream Pops Crunch offers chocolate-coated snacks sweetened with coconut sugar in flavors of Berry Dreams, Vanilla Sky, Birthday Cake, Banana Cream, Mint Chip and Cookie Dough. Each 3.5-ounce pouch is available for an SRP of $5.99. Dream Pops Drip is a 100% plant-based superfood syrup in flavors of Chocolate, Caramel and Strawberry. Each 12-ounce bottle is sweetened with coconut nectar and boosted with baobab, a nutrient-dense super fruit.
Available in 2.75-ounce grab-and-go bags, Jelly Belly Belly Buttons (Jelly Belly Candy Co.) are chewy candies molded into the shape of a bite-sized button and available in five flavors: Very Cherry, Grape, Green Apple, Peach and Blueberry. Jelly Belly Belly Buttons are available for an SRP of $3.49 per bag.
Twix (Mars Inc.) added Twix Cookie Dough, pairing the classic cookie bar with a creamy cookie dough-flavored layer, sprinkled with chocolate cookie bits and coated with milk chocolate. Twix Cookie Dough debuts in December 2022, available in single-size (1.36 ounce), share-size (2.72 ounce) and a mini stand-up pouch (9.7 ounce).
Candy Dynamics debuted a new look for Sour & Chewy Bears and Worms, while Slime Licker Squeeze mimics the original variety but in a new 70-gram squeeze format. Available in theater boxes, vegan-friendly Sour & Chewy Bears and Worms offer five flavors in 3-ounce packs: Lime, Strawberry, Blue Raspberry, Pineapple and Tangerine (SRP of $1.49). Slime Licker Squeeze is offered in Blue Razz, Cherry and Green Apple flavors (SRP of $2.79). The new Slime Writer (SRP of $2.79) contains one pen and four dextrose pieces imprinted with Toxic Waste insignias.