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SNACKS & CONFECTIONERY

Innovative products projected to positively influence confectionery market
Thursday, 31 December, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Sarika Ghagre
Confectionery is the art of making confections, which are food items that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Exact definitions are difficult, in general, though, confectionery is divided into two broad and somewhat overlapping categories, bakers' confections and sugar confections.

The global confectionery market is anticipated to register growth over the forecast period. Rapid urbanisation and changing dietary habits is expected to drive the global market. Rising disposable income, increasing population, and innovative products are projected to positively influence the market. Innovative products with superior qualities such as low sugar, fat, and cholesterol content are slated to further aid in market growth over the next six years. The surge in general health problems such as obesity, breathlessness, and stomach disorders among the younger population can be attributed to irregular eating habits and unhealthy food consumption.

Rising health awareness and consciousness regarding the high-calorie food consumption is expected to retard the market growth. Increasing raw material prices along with the varying consumer spending habits are anticipated to hinder market growth over the next six years. Different confectionery products have different market characteristics pertaining to different geographies. Chocolate confectionery dominated the confectionery product market over recent years, followed by gum and sugar confectionery. Chocolate market is segmented on the basis of regional tastes, whereas the sugar confectionery market is fragmented due to the availability of multiple local producers.

Such variation in the market poses financial and logistical challenges for the industry participants. However, chocolate and gum confectionery industries are fairly consolidated, with global key producers accounting for a major market share. Innovative product positioning coupled with attractive packaging and creative advertising is presumed to open up lucrative opportunities for the industry participants in the near future.

Research and development activities on manufacturing confectionery products with natural ingredients and low negative health impacts promise abundant opportunities for the established as well as new entrants in the market. In addition, functional confectionery products such as cough drops, nutritional tablets, and premium sweets promise rapid market growth and related opportunities for the participants.

Europe dominated the global market in the recent past, followed by North America and Asia Pacific. Emerging economies such as China, Brazil, and India are slated to witness significant growth in the confectionery market owing to rising demand and rapid population growth. Key confectionery market participants include Ferrero Group, Nestle SA, Hershey Food Corp, Amul, Lotte, Petra Foods, Parle Products, Cadbury Plc, Mars Inc., LindtandSprungli, CupaChups SA, Kraft Foods Co., and Perfetti Van Meller.

The confectionery industry is set to grow at a CAGR of 3.45 per cent from 2019 to 2024, with chocolate being the most popular subcategory. The Asia Pacific and the Middle East are considered the largest prospective markets, due to a growing demand for exotic confectionary products sold internationally. For health reasons, consumers are on the lookout for low calorie, high cocoa and functional ingredient-based confectionery. The other most popular segments of the confectionery industry include sugar confectionery and snack bars.

The Plant-Based Revolution
Natural, healthy and eco-friendly products with recognisable ingredients are in favour among consumers. Snack bars with healthy plant-based ingredients have been popular since last year.

Sustainable Choices
The confectionery and snacking industry is supporting the movement towards sustainability together with their consumers who are willing to pay extra if the company has invested in sustainability and an environmentally friendly focus. From 2018 to 2019, there was a noticeable increase from 65 per cent to 87 per cent, according to the Innova consumer survey 2019.

Snacks with High Nutritional Value
Consumers are looking to compensate for their wholesome meals with nutrient-dense snacks. They are looking at ingredients, flavours and calorie levels prior to making a purchase. Depending on the region, with snacks there could also be some cultural influence on flavour profiles.

Sugar-free Options in Confectionery
Sugar-free confectionery is now widespread in the market, its appeal growing among health-conscious consumers. For instance, sugar-free chewing gums and sugar-free boiled sweets are already in popular demand. They contain a number of health benefits including enhanced well-being, boosting energy and there is growing demand for lozenges to soothe a sore throat.

Snacking by Dietary Guidelines
Dietary guidelines are heavily impacting the food industry. With the popularity of keto diets and a low-carbohydrate lifestyle, dairy products have become a premium snacking option. Packaging differs for these snacks as consumers and retailers prefer single-serve options. Cottage cheese, protein pack assortments, cheese cubes and sour cream are all examples of convenient dairy solutions for healthy diet-oriented snacking.

(The author is analyst at Global Market Insights Private Limited, Pune. She can be contacted at sarikaghagre@gmail.com)
 
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