Everyday & Summer Seasonal Candy Trends  9/22/2016

The sour candy trend has dominated the everyday candy category for a while but the marketplace is beginning to shift. New trends in flavor profiles, packaging strategies and category blurring are emerging as seen during the Candy Planning: Everyday & Summer Seasonal Efficient Program Planning Session (EPPS) in New Orleans. With so many innovative offers in one place, ECRM got a firsthand look at some of the latest trends hitting the category. 

Gusset Bags: This stand up packaging is quickly replacing the theater box craze. Because this packaging is resealable consumers are not forced to finish the product in one sitting and have the flexibility to take it on the go. It’s the perfect complement to the busy lifestyle of the modern consumer. 
Creative Flavors: The traditional strawberry, cherry and grape flavors are in the past. Flavors like sriracha, hot tamales even pickle are playing a larger role in non-seasonal candy reviews. Suppliers are also getting creative by combining traditional flavors like cucumber/watermelon, coconut/lime and blood orange. Keep an eye out for these creative flavor profiles. Consumers are buying into the revolution so there is definitely more to come!

Snackfection: What exactly is snackfection? According to Fooddive.com, this term was coined by Hersey and combines sweets with snack items like nuts, seeds, cookie pieces, berries, etc. But Hershey’s is not the only one exploring this trend. Other snackfection items that combine coconut with cashews or chocolate with oats were presented during the EPPS in New Orleans. The snack category continues to gain momentum and candy suppliers do not want to miss out on their piece of the pie. By merchandising traditional confection items in the candy aisle and snackfection items in the snack aisle, suppliers expand their brand profile to reach new customers while also evolving their product to align with consumer behavior.

Other high-level trends that buyers and sellers mentioned during the session include; natural and organic, gummy, bite sized as well as an increase in nostalgic products and flavors like candy cigarettes and root beer flavors. 

The Buyer’s Choice Awards Hosted by The Candy Industry Magazine:

During the EPPS, suppliers entered one product into the running in hopes of being named as the Buyer’s Choice Award winner in one of the following categories: Best Non-Chocolate, Best Chocolate and Best Novelty. The winners were determined by the attending buyers who tasted the items and voted for their favorite in each category. 

The following items received top honors:
  • Best Chocolate: Littlers Fudge Bites by Big Little Fudge
  • Best Non-Chocolate: Coconut Cashew Crunch by Anastasia Confections
  • Best Novelty: Juicy Drop Gum by Bazooka Brands

For more information about how you can participate in the 2017 Candy Planning: Everyday & Summer Seasonal EPPS or other candy and snack sessions taking place throughout the year, please contact Sarah Davidson at SDavidson@ECRM.MarketGate.com.

The winners of the Buyer's Choice Awards pose with Alyse Thompson of The Candy Industry Magazine.
Dan Pavel, Steve Arnold and Bryan Showalter (left to right) of Anastasia Confections win for Best Non-Chocolate.
Robin Strickland and Brian Sisitzky of Big Little Fudge win the honor of Best Chocolate.
Emma Lauzon of Bazooka Candy Brands takes home Best Novelty.
Attendees enjoying a New Orleans late night snack at Cafe Du Monde.
Attendees enjoyed Mardi Gras World during our offsite dinner!
Watch suppliers talk about their latest and greatest products as well as videos about the Buyer's Choice award winners!

Rachel Mayfield

Director of Marketing

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