Lollipops generate more than $380 million in sales annually, with innovative new varieties adding millions of dollars each year. Variety is key in this segment. It takes more than 200 lollipop varieties to represent 90 percent of the total category sales. Shoppers use lollipops for gifting, crafting and treating themselves and others to a fun, new or nostalgic treat.
Lollipops have the great potential to transform a regular product into something with premium potential. Just like chocolate and other candy, the lollipop segment is experimenting with fun and daring new flavor combinations. While traditional fruit flavors, such as cherry, blueberry and strawberry continue to ring up the bulk of the sales, how about watermelon chili, cotton candy, tamarind, mint fudge or vanilla creme marshmallow pops?
Other innovation comes in the shape of the lollipop. Manufacturers are also increasingly developing specialty lollipops for the four big candy seasons as well as secondary occasions, like the red, white and blue American holiday lollipops. Other trends involve customization, a trend we see play out in many food categories, with make your own flavor combinations or changing flavors. Or how about glow-in-the-dark sticks?
Retailers are experimenting with creative merchandising for gourmet lollipops. Lollipop displays are popping up in greeting card aisles, wrapping paper/gift bags areas as well as at checkout. After all, with high consumer favorability across the ages, lollipops are the perfect little treat to sweeten someone’s day.