The total confectionery category is worth £5.5bn MAT (Nielsen). This represents growth of 2.2% over the past two years (Nielsen).

Meanwhile, chocolate growth remained stable at approximately 1.5% per year over the past two years as reduced singles sales were offset by increased sales of multipacks, sharing pouches and large blocks (Nielsen). Confectionery sales have returned to growth of +10.5% vs YA (Nielsen).

The UK chocolate market is currently worth £4.2bn and has 75% share of the total UK.

Seven out of the top 10 confectionery brands are also chocolate ones, showcasing how consumers are continuing to choose chocolate for their ideal indulgent treat (Nielsen).

“Since the pandemic restrictions have lessened, we have seen an increase in consumers coming together to celebrate occasions,” comments Phill Jaremczenko-Dye, Digital Wholesale & New Business Lead, Mars Wrigley. “At Mars Wrigley we are helping consumers celebrate their ‘mini moments’ throughout the year with our premium chocolate range, offering indulgent gifting and sharing options.”

Boxed chocolates are very much considered an affordable luxury and because of this we have seen consumers choosing to celebrate those all-important ‘mini-moments’ throughout the year with this format of chocolate confectionery.

“Our range of premium boxed chocolate offers indulgent gifting and sharing options at an affordable cost,” adds Jaremczenko-Dye. “For retailers looking to tap into year-long occasions, stocking a range of formats can ensure that every mini-moment is accounted for.”

Maltesers Truffles is Mars Wrigley’s number one NPD in the premium boxed category. Another best-seller is Galaxy Truffles. These two SKUs in particular offer consumers the opportunity to gift their favourite brands in a premium package. The indulgent Galaxy Truffles come encased in smooth Galaxy milk chocolate, housed in a well presented, premium box that needs no outer wrapping, ready to gift.

Other consumer favourites such as Celebrations and Galaxy will be at the forefront of the mini-moment initiative, rounding out must stock SKUS for retailers looking to make the most of the gifting opportunities throughout the year.

Research has indicated that confectionery shoppers expect variety in their choice selection of flavours, like fruity, and textures.

Skittles Giants Crazy Sours fits this trend, with ‘fruit’ being the biggest flavour partition, and ‘sours’ being the most incremental flavour to ‘fruit’.

Skittles Giants Crazy Sours are three times the size of standard Skittles and have a soft chewy centre designed to deliver a fruity, mouth-watering flavour.

Skittles, the fastest growing and number one contributing brand to the category in 2020 (Nielsen), continue to introduce a pipeline of innovation. Skittles Squishy Cloudz is the latest NPD to join the brand. This is the first product from Mars Wrigley that sits within the gummy segment. The aerated gummies maintain the intense fruity flavours of Skittles whilst providing a new texture positioned to continue to grow the category whilst recruiting new consumers.

Mars Wrigley continues to grow its fruity range of gum flavours, helping to grow the category by tapping into leading consumption occasions, such as enjoyment, and targeting the Gen Z consumer. The most recent flavour launches are Extra Apple and Extra Blueberry. Fruity gum sales now account for more than one-quarter of the gum market value in the UK, making fruity gum a must stock (Nielsen).

Mars Wrigley has recently launched an informative digital hub, Availability into Action, to help retailers maximise their gum sales. The hub showcases planograms alongside consumer and segment insight to help maximise the opportunity to generate gum sales.

Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelez International, comments: “With lockdown restrictions now lifted, we’ve seen the impulse occasion return across single format confectionery with latest MAT and 12-week data showing singles in growth (Nielsen). “In fact, in a recent survey we asked independent retailers how their singles sales changed during 2021, and 43% said they’d increased.”

Cadbury Twirl Orange single bar was the top-selling NPD in the market and Cadbury Caramilk single bar – only launched in July – was the 9th best-selling NPD, with 4 of the top 10 being singles (Nielsen).

“Single chocolate bars remain crucial to a retailer’s range to help them meet the demands of impulse shoppers looking for treats on the go during the day,” adds Nash.

Cadbury – the nation’s biggest chocolate brand (Nielsen) – is rolling out brand-new, refreshed designs for their range of Cadbury Cards, with on-pack messages ‘Happy Birthday’, ‘Thank You’, and ‘Just for You’ to choose from.

Cadbury Cards are the perfect gift for any chocolate lover; each one has an eye-catching and thoughtful gifting design on the outer pack and contains 20 delicious Cadbury chocolate pralines. These new eye-catching packs, with a space for shoppers to write their own personal message, will offer retailers a unique proposition that will allow them to drive incrementality in their stores for any season or event, all year round.

Mondelez International is once again joining forces with Merlin Entertainments for the return of their family-favourite summer promotion. The on-pack promotion is live now across a range of Cadbury, Oreo and Barny packs and offers a free standard ticket with every purchase of a full-priced adult ticket to a variety of the UK’s top attractions.

This popular consumer promotion gives families the chance to make savings on days out this summer and beyond including Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park Resort, and Legoland Windsor Resort.

This cross-category promotion is running across promotional packs from Cadbury’s chocolate multipacks and biscuits ranges, as well as selected packs in the Barny range too. New for 2022, the promotion will also appear on boxes of Mini Oreo packs, with the aim of reaching more families than ever before and helping create the most memorable moments. Finally, several selection boxes from Cadbury’s seasonal range will join the line-up when in market later in the year.

To celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Cadbury has launched two brand-new commemorative packs featuring eye-catching new designs to mark the historic occasion. Available now, the new limited-edition packaging sees Cadbury Roses 423g tins emblazoned with a striking crown image, and a distinctive design for Cadbury Dairy Milk 360g tablets showcases the Platinum Jubilee’s official emblem.

Elsewhere, the Cadbury FC name is giving away a raft of football-themed prizes as part of a new cross-brand promotion, running across chocolate, biscuits, and sugar confectionery: Away Wins. Running from now until 29th July, Away Wins is set to score shoppers a chance to win a family trip to watch a top football club on their 23/24 pre-season tour, including flights and accommodation. Alongside the star prize there is also a raft of instant win prizes available, including thousands of Love2Shop vouchers as well as 300 away team football shirts.

Building on the huge success of Cadbury Caramilk in 2021, Cadbury has expanded its range to bring shoppers a brand-new launch: Cadbury Caramilk Buttons. Available now, this new addition to the Cadbury Caramilk range brings shoppers golden caramel chocolate, now in Buttons format. The new launch is also set to help retailers tap into more shopper occasions with the popular sharing bag format, perfect for “Afternoon Sharing” and “Big Night In” occasions.

In sugar confectionery, Trebor – the number one (Nielsen) mint brand in the UK – is encouraging shoppers to ‘Own It’ in 2022 by rewarding them with the chance to win £10,000 in cash, as well as hundreds of confidence-boosting prizes.

The Own It campaign rewards winning consumers with prizes that help them own their Style, their Fitness or their Side-Hustle, helping them feel prepared and ready to face whatever stands in front of them. As well as the big £10,000 cash prize, other winners will get the chance to reward themselves with their own personal stylist or private shopping experience, their own personal trainer or nutritionist, or their own business coach or office space, among a host of prizes.

To win, shoppers simply need to pick up a Trebor multipack or single pack, enter their contact details and barcode on the pack at and follow the instructions on the site. There they will find out instantly if they’ve won one of the confidence-boosting prizes and be entered into the Grand Prize draw for £10,000.

Mondelez has also unveiled new Sour Patch Kids Watermelon, offering shoppers an affordable and authentic candy treat with a sweet watermelon flavour and a tangy blast, and adding a unique proposition to a retailer’s confectionery offering. The sweets contain no gelatine and have been certified vegan by the Vegan Society, meeting consumer needs and tapping into the current trend of plant-based alternatives.

Maynards Bassetts will Set The Juice Loose once again this year with the campaign returning bigger and better than ever before. This campaign emphasises the brand’s 100 year old heritage with a throwback to the iconic tagline from the 1990s combined with fresh, eye-catching branding.

The Set the Juice Loose campaign has proven to be hugely successful in previous years. Since their launch in 2020, the advertisements have appeared over 500 million times, reaching a strongly engaged 89% of its target audience. Returning for its third year, Set The Juice Loose is rolling out across digital and social channels, celebrating two shopper favourites – Wine Gums and Jelly Babies. The Set The Juice Loose campaign is live now and is backed by significant media investment.

Following the pandemic, impulsive on-the-go purchase occasions have been affected as consumers continue to work from home and adopt flexible working programmes. This has meant that the trend of shoppers opting for multipacks and take-home formats to share with loved ones or to manage their treats throughout the week has continued.

“Premium Boxed Confectionery will continue to play an important role for retailers wanting to drive sales, so it’s important that the right pack formats are offered in stores to suit shopper missions,” comments Levi Boorer, Trade and Shopper Marketing Director, Ferrero. “For example, Ferrero Rocher 300g and Thorntons Classic 262g are ideal offerings to help drive a bigger basket spend. Quality is at the heart of everything we do at Ferrero, which is why we are consistently able to deliver premium products to consumers to support the growth of the category. Our portfolio of premium, established brands – Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Collection, Raffaello, and Thorntons – offers consumers high quality treats or gifts. Stocking products from our portfolio will support retailers in driving sales, and presents an opportunity for cross-category merchandising.”

Earlier this year, the Ferrero Rocher brand made a move into the bars and tablets segment with the launch of Ferrero Rocher Tablet Bars, now worth over £3.6m since launching in August (Nielsen). The taste of Ferrero Rocher, which is loved by generations all over the world, is now available in a 90g tablet bar with three chocolate varieties to choose from: white chocolate, milk chocolate and a dark chocolate variety.

Ferrero also expanded its boxed chocolate range in August 2021 with the launch of Thorntons Pearls in two premium flavours – Hazelnut Delight and Salted Caramel Sensation – the range offers shoppers the perfect treat to enjoy while sharing moments of delight with loved ones.

“Thorntons Pearls are perfect for sharing or gifting, and we know that shoppers are emotionally engaged within the confectionery category as the brands help them share special moments with loved ones whilst helping to increase basket spend,” adds Boorer.

“Consumer shopping habits have dramatically changed over the past 18 months, with shopper visits to stores becoming more planned and structured,” says Boorer. “This has meant consumers are also looking to shop more locally, which has seen the convenience sector continue to be increasingly popular even as we emerge from the pandemic. Despite this more functional approach to shopping, there is still an opportunity for retailers to boost the appeal of their sugar confectionery and mint products effectively. Especially when it comes to impulse, it’s important that retailers are taking proactive measures to ensure their sugar confectionery offering stands out and attracts shopper interest, which can be done through stocking recognisable and trusted brands such as Tic Tac.”

Tic Tac is well-known for its quality products, so stocking a strong core range helps provide retailers with relevance year-round. The three biggest flavours that consumers are looking for in this category are mint, fruits and extra-strong mint. The Tic Tac core range is currently outperforming the category – +21% vs total sugar at 4.4% (Nielsen) – containing Fresh Mint (+16%), Lime & Orange (+31%), Fruit Adventure, and Cherry Cola Mixers, the range includes products that suit each of these needs, keeping consumers engaged through a broad flavour profile.

Even with the changes seen to store footfall and impulse purchases, the category has remained resilient as consumers have found ways to incorporate their favourites products into at home treating. By offering the Tic Tac range in a number of pack sizes, and always in a robust, resealable box, consumers can easily manage their treating without fear of the product spoiling when they just want a quick treat during the day.”

“Offering the right core range is key to encouraging shoppers to pick up Tic Tac as part of their planned shop,” Boorer continues. “People typically look for mint and fruit flavours from this sector, which is why we recommend retailers stock a variety of flavours from our Tic Tac range, so they can cater for different shopper tastes. Stock them next to your newspapers/magazines fixture or within your food-to-go section next to items such as soft drinks or single serve snacks, 88% of Tic Tac is sold from impulsive locations.

“Use key products to create bundle deals, incorporate Tic Tac into an ‘essentials’ range whereby customers can pick up the product along with a magazine, newspaper or snack such as Nutella B-ready, to cater for morning commuters. Across lunch, feature Tic Tac in meal deals so customers can add it as an additional item. This will highlight the variety offering you have in-store even further.”

Andrea Jessop, CEO of Moo Free, comments: “Premium sharing chocolate is growing in popularity in the UK, with social distancing restrictions behind us, and health and budget-conscious consumers opting for less but better. Demand for free-from chocolate in particular is growing, as it doesn’t just cater for those with allergies, but also people who follow a more plant-based diet or are vegan.”

Moo Free offers a selection of high quality, great tasting free-from and vegan chocolate bars that shoppers will want to share with friends and family, to show them how good this kind of chocolate can be, and encourage them to buy it as well. They come in a variety of flavours, from Bunnycomb (vegan honeycomb), to white, ‘milk’, orange and salted caramel, ensuring there is a bar to suit every taste.

Research shows 27 per cent of the UK population are now claiming to follow a flexitarian diet, which has increased 5 per cent in the last year (The 2020 Food & Drink Report, Bray Leino).

Other groups, such as vegans and vegetarians, are also starting to adopt this label, which is why we are seeing a fall in numbers from those groups.

Health is one of the main drivers, but so is demand for taste, quality and comfort foods, such as chocolate. Consumers are seeking out treats and little luxuries to make them feel good and that can also be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

“Moo Free’s entire range is available in singles format, and we are seeing this space grow,” adds Jessop. “Despite consumers becoming more aware of their health, there is still room for treats in moderation, and singles hit the spot. More than ever, people are becoming more aware of the food they eat and the impact it’s having on the planet as well. They are looking for easy and convenient swaps to make a difference, but taste is still a key factor. This is especially true for flexitarians, the UK’s fastest growing diet choice, who are introducing more plant-based products into their everyday consumption, like chocolate.”

Moo Free’s mini bars continue to be a popular choice, with the Bunnycomb and White bars being top sellers in the range. Demand for Moo Free’s Original ‘milk’ chocolate bar also remains high thanks to its great taste and quality ingredients. All of Moo Free’s dairy-dodging bars are free from palm oil, soya and gluten, and are wrapped in environmentally friendly packaging, adding to its appeal for those making conscious decisions of where their food comes from and how it is made.

Moo Free has recently introduced a collection of dairy-free chocolate covered goodies to its core range with the launch of Choccy Rocks. The individual snack-packs are made up of Moofreesas, which are gluten-free malt balls, Bunnycomb, vegan honeycomb, and chocolate raisins.

Mark Walker, Sales Director at Swizzels, comments: “Squashies, our popular sweets that come in a variety of much-loved flavours, have been a massive success for Swizzels and has continued to grow 2.4% over the past year, known now as the number one sugar confectionery brand in the UK (IRI).

Including 4 different flavours, such as the latest Rhubarb & Custard flavour, Squashies is available across £1 PMP hanging bag formats and a 45g pocket sized treat size. According to research, price is the no.1 factor when purchasing singles confectionery (Lumina) so this 50p PMP is a must stock for wholesalers looking to attract retailers.

“Swizzels has continued to grow over the last year, especially in symbols and independents, where we have seen that the brand has grown faster than the overall total market,” adds Walker. “Furthermore, we are beyond excited to be launching our entrance into the mallows market, with our brand-new product Marvellous Mallows.”

With the mallows category worth £24.7 million (IRI), Swizzels is branching out into a new market, launching with the Drumstick raspberry and milk flavour.

This summer Swizzels will be launching a Minions-themed Banana and Blueberry flavour bag of Squashies, RSP £1, presented in blue-and-yellow striped packaging to echo the Minions in their iconic dungarees. The product is hititng shelves in advance of the new Minions film release and will be accompanied by an engaging campaign on the brand’s social platforms that customers can take part in.

“Creating theatre in store via first class marketing campaigns remains an opportunity for those retailers who wish to use key supplier initiatives to add an exciting shopping experience for their customers,” says Walker. “With confectionery noted as a category with high impulse buys, retailers should look to prioritise locating these categories on secondary locations throughout the store to reach as many shoppers as possible.”

Retailers could also feature a range of £1 PMP near till points and end-of-aisle as a last-minute appeal to shoppers before they finalise their purchase.

“As only 5% of sweets purchases are planned (IGD), it’s important to create eye-catching displays to attract shoppers, as well as taking advantage of seasonal events such as Easter by combining chocolate and confectionery into an Easter themed display,” suggests Walker.

“Retailers should ensure they are stocking a variety of sweets which vegetarian and vegan customers can choose from. Creating a section within their shops which is labelled clearly as vegan, will also make it easier for consumers to see what their vegan offering is.”

Swizzels has a vegan range of confectionery, available all year round, which includes favourites such as Drumstick and Refresher Choos, as well as the recently reformulated variety range from Swizzels which is now all Vegan, a £1 PMP filled with a range of the brand’s most popular and well-loved sweets and lollies – perfect for all sharing occasions.

The clear on pack £1 price point is guaranteed to catch the eye of shoppers on the hunt for value-for-money sweet treats to share with friends and family, so is a must-stock for cash and carries looking to attract retailers who look to stock a vegan confectionery offering.

The Originals range, which includes packs of Love Heart rolls and Parma Violet rolls, are also suitable for vegans to enjoy at any time of the year.



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