According to a report from the National Confectioners Association (NCA), the vast majority of people have consumed chocolate (92%) and other confectionery (80%) during the pandemic.
Whether for stress relief or permissive indulgence, candy is still king. Food & Beverage Insider asked a couple industry insiders which better-for-you trends are resonating most in confectionery, and why these trends top of mind with consumers:
Sarah Gross Feoli, founder and president, Rescue Chocolate: For Rescue Chocolate's customers, the most important label right now is vegan. It assures the consumer in three different areas of concern at once: personal health, ethical treatment of animals and environmental sustainability. The pandemic has focused attention on the first two of those. Obviously, we all want to do everything we can to stay healthy. Cutting out meat and dairy products from the diet leads to better outcomes on a whole host of diseases. And quarantine has created a renewed interest in caring for companion animals. Last year, the shelters were emptying out as people looked for ways to make the isolation more tolerable. As far as the environment, the weather gets stranger every year. More people are realizing that vegan products put a lot less stress on the environment and are therefore an easy (and delicious) way to slow down climate change.
Caron Proschan, CEO, Simply Gum: What we're seeing is that consumers want to feel good about what they are eating. So if they do indulge and have a sweet treat, they want to do so in a healthier or better way, whether that means choosing items that are using simple, real ingredients or ones that have a sustainable claim. At Simply Gum, what has really resonated with consumers is that our gum is plastic-free. It's not something you usually think about with confections, but because conventional gum is made from a plastic base, consumers are turning to us for a better option.
To read the rest of the article, click the link to visit the Permissible indulgence: Strategies for better-for-you confectionery – digital magazine.
Melissa Kvidahl Reilly is a freelance writer and editor with 10 years of experience covering news and trends in the natural, organic and supplement markets. She lives and works in New Jersey.