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    Candy Fits Consumers' On-the-Go Lifestyle

    Steve Montgomery presents candy category highlights at AWMA Outlook Forum.

    Photo by Bob Gatty

    CHICAGO -- In presenting highlights of the candy category at the AWMA C-Metrics Convenience Industry Outlook Forum, Steven J. Montgomery, president of b2b Solutions LLC, pointed out that candy category retail dollar sales for year-to-date ending June 30 were $2.04 billion, growing at 3.3 percent vs. a year ago.

    "Candy is a $32 billion industry that employs 700,000 people," said Montgomery. "The top candy trends for 2012 are sweets for sharing; sweet and salty combinations; mango mania that includes pairing mango with pineapple, orange, coconut and strawberries; and candy as a healthy snack, such as sugarless and dark chocolate."

    Candy fits today's on-the-go lifestyle, he added. As a result, confectionery retail sales have grown steadily since 2007, increasing from $27.4 billion to $32.1 billion in 2011.

    Total warehouse-delivered convenience store gross retail candy sales dollars for year-to-date ending June 30 are projected by C-Metrics at $34 billion, growing 3 percent compared to a year ago.

    The Center Store category accounted for $4.96 billion in warehouse-delivered c-store sales, with strong growth in the snacks category. Candy comprised 41.2 percent of year-to-date dollar sales in the Center Store category. Looking at total candy category performance, growth was 3.3 percent vs. a year ago, with sales at $2.04 billion year-to-date ending June 30.

    The gum category has shown a decline in dollar sales vs. the last fiscal year, after several years of continuous growth due to line extensions and innovation. Changemakers and penny candy also continue to shrink. A trend projection of weekly sales indicates a 6.4-percent growth in 2012 vs. 2011.

    Of the top 25 items for ACV (All Commodity Volume) distribution in the last 13 weeks, only Snickers exceeded a 90 percent ACV. The top 10 SKUs average 84 percent and the top 25 average 77.3 percent. Sixteen of the top 25 SKUs had an ACV below 80 percent. Gross retail dollar sales of chocolate bars and packs show this is the largest candy subcategory, representing 45 percent of candy category sales.

    Year-to-date dollar sales growth vs. a year ago for chocolate bars and packs is 4.9 percent. A trend projection of weekly sales indicates 9.6 percent growth in 2012 vs. 2011. This exceeds the overall candy category growth of 6.4 percent.

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