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Though consumers worldwide are increasingly adopting healthier diets, candy and other sugar confectionery products are retaining their popularity. In fact, the market for these products is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.68% over the period 2016-2021 to reach a total worth of over USD 80 billion. Hard candies currently account for the majority of the market, but the introduction of new and innovative products that cater to consumers’ changing dietary habits, preferences, and needs may see this segment face competition from medicated confectionery and other categories.
Sugar confectionery products typically include candy bars, caramels and toffees, hard candies, gummy candies, and other types of candy and sweets. Though sometimes conflated, sugar confectionery products are generally considered separate from bakers’ confectionery products such as cookies and cakes. Chocolate—outside of candy bars—is also typically considered to be separate from this market.
Hard candies are currently the most popular products in this market with a share of almost 24%, according to Technavio. Their leading position is followed by caramels and toffees with a share of 21%.
This market’s growth is primarily being driven by the increasing diversity in the types of products available to consumers. In response to the changing dietary habits of consumers worldwide—and especially in North America—vendors have worked to increase the availability of sugar-free candies and sugar confectionery items with more natural ingredients, such as agave and natural fruit juices. The introduction of peanut-free, vegan, and gluten-free products to accommodate allergies and the increasing prevalence of speciality diets is another major factor affecting the market’s growth.
Medicated confectionery items are also growing traction in this market. This category includes lozenges, hard candies, gums and chewing gums, and lollipops that help to treat sore throats, cold and flu symptoms, and hay fever. The demand for these items is especially high from the Americas and APAC.
Additionally, much of the market’s growth comes from the United States, which accounts for more than half of the total market share held by the Americas. Gummy and jelly candies are the most popular products in this region. Europe is the second-largest market for sugar confectionery products. Rising disposable income in countries across Europe and an increase in online retailing for confectionery will help to drive sales in this important region, fueling overall market growth.
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