As we move into the holiday season, confectioners will be ramping up their marketing campaigns. At the manufacturer level, confectioners represent a diverse group when it comes to food production. While most food production segments are dominated by a few large companies, at least 300 firms share the 30% of the candy production market not controlled by the top contenders such as Mars and Hershey's. This tiered structure means smaller producers generate $8.46 billion in sales at the retail level and many of these producers sell directly to consumers. Over half of the candy and gum market is dedicated to chocolate and nearly 25% of candy sales occur at ‘other' outlets meaning a strong business exists both online and in gift shops.
Remind your specialty confectioners about the latest trends:
- Sales of dark chocolate rose over 50% in 2007.
- Chocolate manufacturers have begun marketing tasting events that combine chocolate with wine.
- To boost sales, manufacturers are also using urban names for upscale chocolates or producing event-specific merchandising items. This trend could be particularly important in the B to B gift market — for example, favors to be handed out at this year's scaled down company parties.
Review the rest of the details outlined in the Annual Review produced by the National Confectioners Association and then work with your local chocolate manufacturers to develop a marketing program for the upcoming holiday season.[Source: 2007 Annual Review, National Confectioners Association]