Natural Foods Merchandiser

Organic and chocolate the sweethearts of the candy aisle

The natural and organic candy segment continues to show strong growth and innovation, driven mainly by the increased awareness and availability of organic and fair trade products. With more than 330 new items introduced in the naturals supermarket channel and 65 in the conventional food, drug and mass channel during the 52 weeks ending June 14, the candy segment is constantly evolving. The two subcategories that make up this dynamic segment—chocolate candy and other candy—have combined-channel 52-week sales that total more than $127 million.

Organic candy is responsible for most of the segment's growth of the, with total growth of the entire segment at 14.1 percent versus 20.2 percent for organic candy. In the naturals supermarket channel, candy sales grew by 8 percent, while the organic segment grew by 12.9 percent, and in conventional FDM, growth was 30 percent and 36.6 percent, respectively. When broken down into National Organic Program classifications, differences emerge: The less than 70 percent segment (where organic can only be identified on the ingredient statement) leads, with combined-channel growth of 24.1 percent, while the 100 percent organic segment shows the least combined-channel growth, with a year-over-year increase of 17.9 percent. However, NOP classification growth does vary by channel; in naturals supermarkets, the 70 percent to 94 percent organic segment leads with a 24.3 percent sales increase, and in conventional FDM, the 100 percent organic segment generated the most growth, followed by the less than 70 percent, with 49.5 percent and 42 percent growth, respectively. In terms of organic dollar sales share, the 95 percent to 99 percent organic segment significantly leads across both channels, with a combined-channel dollar share of 78.8 percent.

Chocolate candy represents the majority of sales volume, with 83.8 percent of combined-channel dollar sales for the most recent 52-week period. Combined-channel growth of chocolate was 15.1 percent versus 9 percent for other candy. However, in the naturals supermarket channel, total dollar sales of other candy increased more than chocolate, with a 9.1 percent sales gain. Much of chocolate's growth for the past year came from conventional FDM, where sales increased by 34.5 percent versus a year ago. Sales of organic chocolate outpaced the overall category, with a combined-channel sales increase of 19.7 percent. In the naturals channel, seven of the top 10 dollar-volume items are organic, and in the conventional channel five of the top 10 are organic. Leading natural and organic chocolate brands in the naturals channel include Green & Black's, Endangered Species, Chocolove, Lake Champlain and Dagoba. Green & Black's, Endangered Species, Cocoavia, Scharffen Berger and Chocolove are leaders in the conventional channel.

Beyond organic, another attribute that is driving chocolate growth is fair trade, with combined-channel growth of 23 percent. The majority of fair trade volume—77.6 percent—is generated through the naturals supermarket channel. However, fair trade chocolate is growing at a greater pace in FDM, with a year-over-year increase of 35.6 percent. There are 178 active fair trade chocolate SKUs in the naturals supermarket channel, 33 of which were introduced within the last year; in FDM, there are 66 active items, 20 of which are new to the channel this year, representing nearly one-third of all candy items that were introduced in the channel.

Natural and organic candy has definitely captured the attention of consumers. Do you have the right items stocked for Halloween?

—Alison Tirone

Natural and organic candy segment, 52 week sales

Conventional FDM

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

$ Share

Total

$39,999,861

$30,758,324

30.0%

100.0%

Chocolate candy

$34,250,654

$25,464,007

34.5%

85.6%

Other candy

$5,749,207

$5,294,317

8.6%

14.4%

Natural Supermarkets

Total

$87,043,867

$80,594,045

8.0%

100%

Chocolate candy

$72,949,772

$67,679,040

7.8%

83.8%

Other candy

$14,094,095

$12,915,005

9.1%

16.2%

Organic candy segment, 52 week sales

Conventional FDM

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

$ Share

Total

$19,889,827

$14,559,314

36.6%

49.72%

100% Organic candy

$1,022,653

$684,023

49.5%

5.14%

95% - 99% Organic candy

$15,220,788

$11,152,437

36.5%

76.53%

70% - 94% Organic candy

$1,056,642

$898,834

17.6%

5.31%

1% - 69% Organic candy

$2,589,744

$1,824,020

42.0%

13.02%

Natural Supermarkets

Total

$37,042,684

$32,799,921

12.9%

42.56%

100% Organic candy

$3,463,327

$3,121,795

10.9%

9.35%

95% - 99% Organic candy

$29,657,764

$26,257,802

12.9%

80.06%

70% - 94% Organic candy

$2,890,279

$2,325,875

24.3%

7.80%

1% - 69% Organic candy

$1,031,314

$1,094,449

-5.8%

2.78%

Natural and organic candy sales

Fair trade chocolate segment, 52 weeks

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

Conventional FDM

$2,260,297

$1,666,482

35.6%

Natural supermarkets

$7,848,838

$6,550,253

19.8%

Combined channel

$10,109,135

$8,216,735

23.0%

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 10/p. 128

Candy Segment Share
Combined Channel



Organic Candy Sales by NOP Classification Combined Channel

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 10/p. 128

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