Sales growth is accelerating again after a challenging second half of the year in 2016. While sales were up 1.2 percent over 2016, the latest twelve months ending mid June grew 1.3 percent, and when regarding just the first six months of 2017, sales increased 1.6 percent. This means confectionery is once again easily outgrowing the total store, which is flat at +0.1 percent.
2017 is also seeing an improved picture on unit sales that experienced pressure over the past few years. In fact, regarding the first six months of the year only, units are +0.2 percent, despite volume pressure at -2.6 percent. This means shoppers are buying slightly more, yet smaller packs than compared with last year.
Within chocolate, premium maintains its double-digit growth pace over the past year, at +10.9 percent. Other areas of strength are novelty and small bag/bar/box under 3.5 ounces. In non-chocolate, chewy continues to be the leader. Representing half the category’s sales, chewy increased 4.9 percent over the 12 months ending mid June. However, within gum and mints, all segments lost ground over the past year.
At the channel level, grocery managed to overtake the convenience channel in sales growth. Grocery reports above average growth in chocolate and non-chocolate, limited losses in gum and mints and performed very well in seasonal sales.
During the first two seasonal periods of 2017, Valentine’s Day and Easter, seasonally-themed items performed extremely well. While the Valentine’s Day period sales were slightly off, seasonal item sales gained 1.9 percent. Sales during the Easter period were up 4.6 percent, and Easter-themed confectionery grew 16.5 percent across multi-outlet channels. Expectations for Halloween and the end-of-year holidays are optimistic, with Tuesday timing and one extra day in the selling season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
View the 2017 Mid-year Confectionery Review