Candy, Gum Remain Strong Impulse Buys

40% of Americans buy single-serve candy at least once a week.

May 24, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—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, according to the results of a May 2023 survey of 1,154 U.S. consumers by Advantage Solutions.

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 survey results.

Among other survey findings:

  • Gum and candy continue to be strong impulse buys, with 38% saying gum is an impulse buy “always” or “frequently” and 51% saying the same for single-serve candy and 32% for multi-serving packages of candy.
  • Even apart from holidays and parties, nearly half of consumers (48%) buy multi-serving packages of candy at least monthly.
  • Nearly half of candy and gum buyers most often make their purchases at mass merchandisers, especially when buying for later use. Supermarkets, convenience stores and drugstores see a bit higher percentage of purchases for immediate use than for later use.
  • Most consumers are loyal to their favorite products and brands, but 40% or more are swayed by a perceived good value or price discount, and more than one-third of single-serve candy and gum buyers are influenced by what they see at the register.

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.