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Candy lovers look beyond chocolate for their sweet treats

April 1, 2023
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Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Canada’s health food organizations say younger consumers are seeking healthier candy options.

Chocolate may be the language of love but other types of candy are drawing increasing attention lately, a report says.

The 2023 State of Treating report from the Washington, D.C.-based National Confectioners Association says sales of chocolates, non-chocolate candies, mints, and gum reached a record $42.6 billion in 2022, according to Euromonitor. Non-chocolates—such as gummies, chewy candy, hard candy, licorice, lollipops, and marshmallows—accounted for $15.4 billion, more than one-third of total sales, and are expected to reach $20 billion by 2027, Euromonitor projects.

Sales of non-chocolates rose nearly 14% last year compared to a 9% increase for chocolate candy.

The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) says Gen Zers and millennials are pushing the popularity of non-chocolate confections, and they are contributing to brand innovations in candy, as they are in other types of food. According to the CHFA, about 45% of consumers think there is a way to make candy healthier, and 30% say they are very interested in buying candy that is all-natural, lower in sugar, or sugar-free.

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