Sales of Chocolate and Candy Remain Strong Amid Inflation, Supply Chain Pressures

The National Confectioners Association releases its State of Treating report.

March 07, 2023

AVENTURA, Fla.—In 2022, confectionery category dollar sales grew 11.1% over 2021, and 22.1% over 2019, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA). Consumers view chocolate and candy as a fun part of life (81%) and as an affordable treat (74%), according to the fourth annual State of Treating report published by the NCA. The total confectionery category reached $42.6 billion in sales. Growth projections take the total category to $54.3 billion in 2027.

“With high marks for favorability and permissibility, along with the majority of consumers agreeing that confectionery is an affordable treat, chocolate and candy sales grew despite economic pressures,” said John Downs, NCA president and CEO. “Consumers continue to treat with chocolate and candy to enhance their emotional well-being, celebrate holidays and enjoy everyday moments.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • 79% of consumers agree that physical health and emotional well-being are interconnected, and 86% agree that it is fine to occasionally treat yourself with chocolate and candy.
  • 78% believe confectionery sharing and gifting are great traditions.
  • Consumers buy confectionery in three to four different retail channels, led by supercenters and supermarkets.
  • 61% of shoppers look for confectionery products they have never purchased before; innovation is important.
  • 59% of candy consumers have searched Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for confectionery-related content.
  • Transparency is the currency of trust; 43% of consumers prefer to learn about a brand’s ESG efforts from the package label.

NACS Magazine covered the category in October in “Candy Delivers Sweet Sales.”