Candy Delivers Sweet Sales

Consumers sought the comfort of confections during the pandemic, and the trend continues.

October 07, 2022

By Pat Pape

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—From chocolate bars to gummies and sour candies, consumers craved confections during the early days of the pandemic. The good news for convenience retailers is that the momentum for this high impulse-driven category remains strong.

The candy category represented 3.52% of inside c-store sales in 2021, according to the NACS State of the Industry Report of 2021 Data. “The largest subcategory contributor to sales in 2021 was chocolate bars and packs (32.5%), followed by bagged and repacked peg candy (20.3%), non-chocolate bars and packs (18.8%) and gum (11.9%),” said Jayme Gough, NACS research manager.

Coming out of the pandemic, pricing, promotion and display strategies for the category drove double-digit sales growth in 2021 (13.5%) and increased per store, per month sales from $5,975 to $6,781. The NACS State of the Industry Report notes that a gross margin percentage increase of 0.48 point also helped the category boost gross profit 14.6% year over year to a total of $3,410 per store, per month.

However, the pandemic’s impact on the supply chain created a snag within c-stores that continues to linger.

Read the rest of this month’s Category Close-Up column in the digital October issue of NACS Magazine.

Pat Pape worked in the convenience store industry for more than 20 years before becoming a full-time writer. Read more of her work at