Featuring much-loved favourites and a host of exciting new innovative products, the sugar confectionery market is thriving. ShelfLife highlights all the latest trends and newest developments within the sugar confectionery sector
28 April 2022 | 0
Retailers know all too well that when it comes to products that consumers impulse buy, sugar confectionary is particularly tempting, especially among children. Even as we become more health conscious as a nation, sweet treats are still a staple in the Irish diet as sugar-free or reduced sugar products gain momentum. What’s more, many brands are keen to cater to the growing vegan population with gelatine-free formats of their most popular sweets. For example, Rowntrees Jelly Tots are suitable for those following vegetarian, vegan and religious diets.
According to Jeremy Dee, managing director, Swizzels, the sweets category is the second highest category that shoppers like to spend time browsing so it is critical to ensure you are stocking the biggest brands to drive a strong rate of sale and therefore profit.
Rowntree’s, a brand long synonymous with sugar confectionery, is ensuring that as many people as possible can enjoy its fruity chews with the extension of the brand’s vegan friendly portfolio. The recently launched vegan friendly Rowntree’s Fruit Gums and Rowntree’s Pick & Mix join existing vegan friendly brands within the range such as Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles and Rowntrees Jelly Tots and all are suitable for those following vegetarian, vegan and religious diets.
Brand new from Rowntree’s this year is Randoms Squidgy Swirls. A variant within the already well loved Randoms brand, this latest launch is sure to win over fans both old and new. Randoms Squidgy Swirls are a tongue-tantalising assortment of fruit and yoghurt-flavour creamy-tasting jellies in three varieties: blackcurrant and yoghurt, strawberry and yoghurt and apple and yoghurt. They are chewy with and an immensely satisfying squidge making for a playful treat for fruity chew lovers of all ages.
Also new to the Rowntree’s range are Jelly Tots Tropical Tots. A vegan friendly treat, Tropical Tots are made with real fruit juice and come in five tangy flavours: passion fruit, peach, pineapple, grapefruit and mango.
Mints are very much a functional/destination segment of the sugar confectionery market, with shoppers actively seeking out products to freshen their breath after a coffee or lunch break. Due to this, when shopping patterns were impacted by the pandemic over the past two years, it had a knock-on effect on mints sales as shoppers have stayed at home, resulting in fewer out of home consumption occasions.
However, as the country hopefully returns to more normal living patterns with people returning to work and travel, retailers now have an opportunity to boost their mint category sales once again. In order to capitalise on this growth opportunity, retailers should start by ensuring they are stocking the best-selling packs across a range of usage occasions, ‘breath freshness’ and ‘sweet treat’. Polo has a range of popular mint flavours including Original, Sugar Free and Spearmint.
Sunshine in a bag
Sonas Sweets is an Irish brand of sugar confectionery developed and distributed by Ampersand. The word Sonas comes from the Irish word meaning happiness, and Sonas Sweets brings a little happiness and sunshine to Irish consumers every day!
The Sonas Sweets range includes a €2 mix up bag and €1 hanging bags which has now been extended to 24 different varieties since its launch. The Sonas Sweets range has all the favourites including jellies, sour sweets, bonbons, and liquorice pencils. The 100g hanging bags are a perfect treat sized portion priced at €1. The €2 mix up bags are great for sharing and on the go convenience, ideal for school bags or car journeys and as the bags can be resealed it means they don’t have to be eaten in one sitting.
Retailers and consumers can also be assured in these challenging times where hygiene, health and food safety are at the fore of people’s minds that Sonas Sweets are a premium quality offering and the highest standards of food safety and compliance with legislation have been ensured for the well-being of consumers. Sonas Sweets Mix-Ups are all hand-packed in a factory in double laminate bags with a re-sealable tab which are fully compliant with trace-ability and best-before-date along with strict controls and conditions carried out by staff throughout the production and packing processes.
Share the yum
According to Jeremy Dee, managing director, Swizzels, the sweets category is the second highest category that shoppers like to spend time browsing so it is critical to ensure you are stocking the biggest and best brands that will drive a strong rate of sale and therefore profit. Swizzels has a broad range of products to fit shopper needs, including singles, sharing bags and seasonal lines to maximise sales.
Whilst sugar confectionery is bought all year round, there are strong spikes in the summer months and around Halloween. Time of day is also a critical measure as a lot of sugar confectionery is bought in the afternoon and evenings. With this in mind, countlines and single product confectionery will be in higher demand during the warmer months, as more customers will be purchasing sweets for themselves on the go.
Research also suggests that in-home eating occasions have risen by +60%**, likely due to the pandemic, meaning bigger at home family and social occasions are growing in importance**.
As such, shoppers are looking for sharing packs to cater for get-togethers and ensure they have a mixture of sweet options that the whole family can enjoy.
Sugar confectionery has continued to grow over the last 12 weeks*** and with restrictions now removed, we can expect to return to pre-covid life and anticipate that more time will be spent outdoors with families and friends as the weather warms.
As a result, Swizzels predicts that sharing bags sales will continue to grow.
Perfect for all sharing occasions, Swizzels’ Variety bags have recently been rebranded to include everyone’s favourites in three different packs, such as Luscious Lollies, Scrumptious Sweets, and Curious Chews. Available with a £1 RSP, the bags are free from artificial colours and they are all now suitable for vegans.
As ever, when it comes to stocking sugar confectionery, retailers should focus on offering a diverse range of products that would satisfy the needs of any type of customer. Since one of the highest levels of impulse buys is in the confectionery category****, having a versatile offering is essential to increase the chances of securing last-minute purchases.
4.1% of the Irish population, or 146,426 adults, follow a vegan diet. The research also showed that the majority of these adults, 54%, were aged 18 – 34.
Retailers should consider providing a vegan/vegetarian selection to accommodate those with dietary requirements, as well as stocking variety bags and sharing packs that offer something for everyone.
Swizzels’ range of Chew Bars are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans which is clearly highlighted on front of pack, ensuring that shoppers can be confident they are making the right choice when it comes to purchasing sugar confectionery.
*(Source: Category Benchmark research, February 2020 to August 2021)
**(Source: Landmark Q4 2020)
***(Source: IRI, Sugar Confectionery category, Value Sales 12wks to 31/10/2021, Total Market data)
****(Source: IGD Category benchmark research, Jun-Sep’18. Base: 3,633 British supermarket shoppers / 115 confectionery shoppers)
*****(Source: Bord Bia’s Dietary Lifestyles Report, Nov 2018)
******(Source: Future of Food, 2019)
Bringing innovation to children’s confectionery
Shelton specialises in marketing children’s candies and treats which bring a little quirkiness and disruption to the confectionery aisle. Children’s impulse novelties are in great demand, and Pez Dispensers (RRP €2.00) and Candy Refill Packs (RRP: €1.50) have become special go-to treats for children of all ages. Pez Dispensers are collected worldwide, with special limited editions often changing hands for large sums of money.
Pez is a true leader in bringing fun to their fans, and there is now a Pez -Play App, where anyone can go on-line and download Pez games to play with other Pez fans. Check out Pez Refill packs for more details.
Bringing innovation to children’s confectionery is also a special feature which Look-O-Look delivers in so many ways. Look-O-Look Candy Pizza, Candy Burgers, and new French Fries Take-Aways, together with the new Party Cracker and iconic Candy Flower Bouquets can brighten up any kiddie’s party, or special occasion. Sales figures peak during the summer months for all Look-O-Look products, and the new Look-O-Look floor stands feature 2 x shelves to carry traditional hanging bags, and several Candy Take-Away novelties.
Trolli has a new face and logo, and this is shown to great effect with the new Trolli Big Burger, featuring a modern design stand, which creates fantastic impact in any store. The Trolli motto is that “Life is far too important to be taken too seriously!” and this can be seen in so many of their quirky quality confectionery creations
Chocolate Surprise Eggs are always a winner with children, and Zaini Chocolate Eggs feature famous children’s licences including Barbie, Paw Patrol, SpongeBob and many more. Made with premium Italian chocolate, these eggs with surprise toys are also gluten-free, and can be safely shared with children with wheat-intolerances.
Shelton also launched the WOM brand of novelties in 2021, which include many versions of candy soothers to put a different smile on anyone’s face – no more masks! These unique dummies promise to be a great fun item during the summer months. For further information on all the items here, please contact Shelton at firstname.lastname@example.org