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    Category Snapshot: Candy

    Nielsen data shows consumers still want treats despite desire to eat healthy.

    By Angela Hanson, Convenience Store News
    Source: Dollar Sales in Convenience Channel; Nielsen

    NATIONAL REPORT — A large number of consumers both in and out of the United States are trying to lose weight through healthy food choices, but people are still willing to treat themselves, prompting healthy growth in indulgent categories like candy, according to new data and analysis provided to Convenience Store News from Nielsen.

    For the past year ended February 2015, convenience store candy sales reached $5.7 billion, making it one of the top-selling categories in the convenience channel. This marked a 4-percent increase year over year that was largely driven by novelty/seasonal candy and bagged or repacked peg candy.

    Chocolate bars and bagged/repacked peg candy are the most popular products within the segment, each making up 30 percent of c-store candy sales. Seasonal candy represents 11 percent of category sales.

    "We are seeing healthy growth in the convenience store bagged, repacked peg candy subcategory that we do not see in other retail channels," said Laurie Rains, Nielsen's vice president, retail consulting and analytics. "Bagged, repacked peg candy grew 14 percent year over year and that was off strong growth of 16 percent the prior year."

    Nielsen data also shows the convenience channel as a whole has begun to take advantage of seasonal opportunities over the past two years, growing seasonal candy sales by 15 percent.

    "Convenience stores are in a great position to catch the last-minute holiday shopper searching for a Valentine’s milk chocolate heart or Easter marshmallow bunnies," Rains noted.

    Still, the convenience channel has room for more growth during the four major holidays: Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. During the four weeks leading up to Valentine's Day 2015, seasonal candy dollar sales increased by 13.8 percent in c-stores, while they grew 26 percent in the food channel and 102.8 percent in the drug channel.

    Nielsen is a leading global information and measurement company.

    By Angela Hanson, Convenience Store News
    • About Angela Hanson Angela Hanson is associate editor for EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News and Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner, where she is responsible for primary coverage of the candy, snacks and packaged beverages categories. Since joining CSNews as assistant editor in early 2011, she has played a key role in helping CSNews.com maintain its position as the No. 1 news source for the convenience store industry. Prior to joining CSNews, Hanson served as junior editor at Creative Homeowner book press and as managing editor of Anime Insider magazine. She has degrees in creative writing and visual communication technology from Bowling Green State University.

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