Candy Industry – Innovation and Simplification

In response to low unit sales in the chocolate bar sectors, candy manufacturers are considering strategies on both ends of the marketing spectrum:  innovation or simplification of their product lines.  Paradoxically, as prices keep escalating; overall sales have climbed to $ 4.9 billion!  Larger numbers of sophisticated buyers are demanding increased flavor variation; more refined health benefits and improved packaging.  But the biggest sellers continue to be nostalgic perennials that the business has learned to bank on.

According to the latest industry figures the top 10 selling chocolate bars are the traditional mainstays and they’ve all been around for decades:  M&Ms, Hershey’s signature bar, Reese’s, Snickers, Kit Kat, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Butterfinger, Milky Way and York Peppermint Patty.  This is the kind of candy you might find in any typical wholesale candy store… of the 1940s.  In fact, the confection consumers spent over $ 95 million on these types of products.

A senior spokesperson for one of the major chocolate manufacturer’s feels that longevity is just one secret to success:  “…ensuring that our core products are in distribution at retail has helped grow our sales and share.”  The sheer simplicity of their best seller seems to be driving this “back to basics” campaign.  Candy connoisseurs know the flashiest thing about this uncomplicated milk chocolate bar is its silver wrapping, but over the years it’s become a staple for countless recipes and the iconic label is known world-wide.

Confectionary powerhouses like Ma