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    2016 Results So Far Bode Well for C-store Industry: Part 5

    Salty snacks and seasonal/novelty candy are standouts in the first half of the year.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News

    NATIONAL REPORT — Salty snacks generated a solid 3.9-percent increase in sales at U.S. convenience stores over the first half of this year, according to the annual Convenience Store News Mid-Year Report Card. In the first half of 2015, salty snack sales increased 2.8 percent.

    The candy category, meanwhile, saw a 1.3-percent increase in sales during the first six months of 2016. In the first half of last year, candy sales were essentially flat.

    Overall merchandise sales were up 2.7 percent to about $95 billion for the first half of this year, an increase slightly less than the 3.2 percent achieved at last year’s mid-point; however, much better than the meager 1.6-percent gain of 2014.

    Potato chips and tortilla/corn chips, the two largest salty snack subcategories, enjoyed sales increases of 4.3 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, in the first half of 2016 — about a percentage point better than the increases those segments achieved in the year-ago period.

    Ready-to-eat popcorn saw the largest percentage increase, up 7.5 percent in revenue. Crackers, with a 5-percent gain, had the second-largest percentage increase during the first six months of this year.

    In the candy category, chocolate and non-chocolate bars/packs, gum, rolls, mints and drops were all flat or down in the first half. Only bagged/repacked peg candy and novelty/seasonal candy were up.

    Chocolate bars/packs were down a half a percent; non-chocolate bars/packs fell by 12.5 percent. Gum saw a 3.1-percent sales drop, but that decline was less than the 4-percent decrease of a year ago.

    On a more positive note, sales of novelty/seasonal candy rose by 7.3 percent in the first half, and bagged/repacked peg candy experienced a robust 5.3-percent gain.

    Click through the charts above to see more results.

    And stay tuned for the sixth and final installment of the 2016 Convenience Store News Mid-Year Report Card, focusing on prepared foods and dispensed beverages.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News
    • About Don Longo Don Longo is editorial director of EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News. He has covered retailing for more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and publisher. Previously, he spearheaded the editorial efforts at a variety of business publications focused on mass, drug, grocery and specialty store retailing. Convenience Store News won American Business Media’s Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Issue of the Year in 2008 and 2012. Longo has won numerous other editorial awards over his career and is frequently quoted in the national and local news media on the subjects of retailing and consumer trends.

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