Sweet & Sour: Challenges and Opportunities in the Candy Category  9/14/2020

The candy category has certainly faced challenges over the past few months, with the pandemic hitting the U.S. just before Easter and still with us as we approach Halloween and Christmas. And while shoppers are out and about more, they are still spending less time in stores and more time online.

Retailers and brands have adapted to meet these changes, and durng ECRM's recent Candy Planning: Everyday & Summer Seasonal Virtual Session, much of the thought leadership content focused on how they are doing this.

We led off with an on-demand educational session from Dan Sadler of IRI, during which he laid out how COVID has impacted the category, and where growth opportunities could be found in the segment. In addition, during the session we held three concurrent roundtables on the ECRM Connect platform in which buyers and suppliers had the opportunity to discuss how they have been adapting to the new way of doing business.

Below you'll find the full IRI presentation, plus intervews with each of the roundtable moderators, who provide some takeaways from each of their discussions.

Click the links below to learn more about ECRM's upcoming Candy Sessions:


The State of the U.S. Confectionery Market & Impact of COVID (Dan Sadler, IRI)

An in-depth look at the latest confectionery category trends from shopper, channel and consumer perspectives, including the impact of COVID-19 on the category. Dan Sadler, Principal - Client Insights for IRI Worldwide shares the latest insights on how to capture new opportunities in seasonal, everyday and new demographic segments in the light of recent events.


Roundtable Recap: Holiday Expectations & Candy (Teresa Tarantino, Candy & Snack Today)

Teresa's roundtable discussed how they will be marketing and merchandising candy around this holiday season, particularly Halloween. Among the topics discussed were:

  • Early Halloween merchandising
  • Increased demand from retailers for non-holiday specific packaging
  • Unique Halloween activities planned by consumers
  • E-commerce and holiday candy sales


Roundtable Recap: E-commerce Candy Sales (Alyse Thompson, Candy Industry Magazine)

Alyse's roundtable discussed the shift toward e-commerce during COVID and how that has impacted the candy category. Among the topics covered were:

  • Direct-to-consumer sites
  • Challenges with shipping
  • Working with Amazon and other 3rd party services and apps


Roundtable Recap: COVID & the Candy Category (Dan Sadler, IRI)

Dan's roudtable discussed how buyers and suppliers have adapted to the challenges of COVID-19. Among the topics discussed were:

  • Convenience candy sales bouncing back
  • Increasing package sizes
  • Early holiday merchandising
  • Impulse sales of candy
  • Growth of E-commerce


Lisa Burkart

Category Development Director - Grocery

Lisa can be reached at (440) 542-3024

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