ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Ferrero wants to turn its Kinder chocolate candy into a $1 billion business in the U.S., with the company already expanding Kinder sales in America to over $500 million in the past five years, reports Bloomberg.
According to Catherine Bertrac, a Ferrero senior vice president in charge of the brand in North America, the company wants to capitalize on the shifting taste preferences of Americans. The U.S. is the No. 1 chocolate consumer—eating more than twice the amount as the No. 2 consumer, which is Germany, according to Euromonitor International.
Currently Ferrero offers Kinder Joy, Kinder Bueno and Kinder seasonal items in the U.S., and it plans to release Kinder Chocolate in August. Bertrac says that the chocolate additionshould give U.S. sales of Kinder another boost. Ferrero is also expanding its manufacturing facility in Bloomington, Illinois, and it’s also opening a new innovation center in Chicago to support U.S. growth.
However, inflation and the potential impacts of El Nino, which pose a potential disruption to sugar and cocoa supplies, could make margins for the candy maker tight.
But the company decided to expand its U.S. business before these factors, and rising inflation won’t change that, Bertrac told Bloomberg, adding that while Ferrero has raised its prices the same as its competitors, it’s not passing it all on to consumers. As a result, it’s been able to continue growing.
According to a survey by Advantage Solutions, four in 10 Americans are buying single-serve candy at least once a week and nearly a quarter are buying gum once a week or more. When buying candy or gum, consumers are most influenced by the ability to buy their favorite brands and products, value, price discounts and what they find at the checkout.
According to NACS State of the Industry data for 2022, the candy category had double-digit sales growth year over year. Overall, in-store sales increased 9.0% in 2022.