Chocolate and sweets still student favourites
According to the Confectionery Market Update 2012, published by market intelligence provider Key Note, the confectionery market grew by 7.5 per cent in 2011.
Chocolate confectionery is still more popular than sugar confectionary, however the sugar market saw more growth. The chocoate market grew 7.2 per cent in 2011 and is estimated to be worth £4bn . The value of the sugar confectionery sector rose by 8.5 per cent to reach £1.41bn.
Over the 5-year period spanning 2006 to 2010, sales of confectionery increased by approximately 14 per cent to £5.03bn.
New product development has been limited in recent years. Instead, many brands have produced their existing products in different formats, for example, as miniatures, or improved and modified the recipes of existing products in order to retain consumer interest. Pouches and tubs for sharing have been particularly successful in recent years.
The past few years have also seen concerns regarding the ethical sourcing and production of confectionery products escalate. As a result, organic and Fairtrade ingredients have become more widely used in confectionery products, especially by more well-known brands, such as Nestlé and Cadbury. The former has pledged to use only sustainable palm oil in its products from 2015, while the latter’s subsidiary, Green & Black’s, has promised to certify its entire portfolio as Fairtrade by the same year.
In the UK, the confectionery market continues to enjoy a high level of consumer penetration, with nearly nine out of ten adults purchasing chocolate bars or similar products on a regular or semi-regular basis. It is safe to say that British students love confectionery. In June 2011, TGI conducted a survey on behalf of Key Note which revealed that 88.6 per cent of respondents ate chocolate bars and other chocolate items, excluding boxed chocolates, in the 12 months preceding the survey.
Despite the recent economic downturn, the confectionery market has maintained a strong position. The industry reacted quickly to the recession by introducing a number of value and budget items, and increasing the number of promotions and discounts in order to attract cash-strapped consumers. As a result, consumer demand has remained high and the confectionery market exited recession relatively unscathed.