How Big is the Candy Industry?

Mentioning candy alone triggers smiles into people’s faces. From kids to adults, age doesn’t matter as we link these sweets to various positive feelings like love, comfort, joy, family, and friendship. Whether it’s an after-school treat, a thoughtful gift, or a quick snack, eating candies simply brings us precious moments of happiness that we all love, enticing us to keep looking back for more.

With such effect, it’s no surprise that the candy industry, also called the confectionery industry, holds a huge global market. In 2021, Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S., the world’s largest candy producer, alone boasted $20 billion in net sales. In this article, let’s discover more about how big the candy industry is, proving how everyone is swept away by the sugary goodness of candies.

Global Candy Industry

In 2020, the global confectionery market was at USD 208.15 billion, coming from a $30 billion rise from 2019 as per Statista. It involves all goods with relatively high sugar content, composed of chocolates, and non-chocolate products, such as lollipops, hard candies, chewing gums, jelly candies, and many others. 

Like with any other industry, the COVID-19 pandemic also took a toll in the candy or confectionery industry, showing a steep plunge in 2021 but an immediate increase in the 2022 forecast at USD 205.47 billion and USD 206.71 billion respectively. By 2025, the global candy market is expected to value at USD 223.63 billion, showing a growth of 15 billion U.S. dollars in the five-year span.

The global candy market’s sales skyrocket during the festive seasons like Easter, Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. About a quarter of all the entire consumer candy spending happens during the said holidays. To fulfill the requirements, the manufacturers raise the number of their employees, as well as purchase billions of pounds of milk, corn syrup, and sugar and hundreds of millions of cocoa beans and nuts.


Regional Segments

Europe dominates the global market, accounting for around 73 billion of the total global market in 2020. The consumers’ constant demand for quality, premium, and customized chocolates and the region’s matching innovations, fueled the increased sales of confectioneries in Europe. Chocolates remain the most popular snack type in many European countries like Austria, Germany, and the U.K. – countries deemed to consume 5 times more than the global average.

North America comes second to Europe in terms of market share. While Europe’s innate sweet preference over traditional food makes them the leader, the growth in North America is linked to the increased candy consumption among all age groups. Meanwhile, the Asia-Pacific ranks third, followed by other regions like South America, the Middle East, and Africa.

Factors Affecting Growth

Many other factors spark the further expected growth of the global industry in the coming years, which is believed to be at USD 242.53 billion in 2028. Some of these factors include the increase in the world’s population, meaning that the target consumer base also expands as well. Industrialization and urbanization, especially in developing countries, also result in the consumers’ expenditure capability. Thus, allowing also the increase in sales across the world. 

Meanwhile, high sugar consumption is being associated with obesity, diabetes, and dental issues. Thus, impacting the candy industry negatively and affecting its growth. Luckily, the production of low-calorie and sugar-free candy alternatives poses great opportunities to counter its effect and rather be an aid to expand the market. As more consumers are also getting more health-conscious, launching organic candies touting health benefits will also help boost the global candy industry.


Preferred Products

Chocolate candies dominate the global industry market, citing the healthy perks linked to it. It is preferred not only by children but all age groups, as it aids in getting better blood flow, improving blood vessel functionality, and treating depression.

Non-chocolate candies, composed of gummies, caramel, lollipops, jellies, and many other hard candies come second attributed to the fewer health hazards they pose. Not to mention that they come in a better variety of flavors.

On the other hand, chewing gum and peppermint candies’ potential growth in the coming years is also promising, given also the huge benefits they offer. The former is said to reduce stress with the chewing motion helping brain stimulation and sharpening attention, while the latter aids in relieving upset stomach and managing digestion.

Distribution Channels 

With its huge global market, the candy industry is distributed in various channels. People get their candies from sources like convenience stores, traditional grocery stores, departmental stores, supermarkets, and hypermarkets, as well as online sales channels. In 2020, supermarkets/hypermarkets are where most consumers purchased their candy products, accounting for 35% of the market. They offer a better range of candy products, plus they serve as one=stop solutions for people wanting to buy other commodities.

Yet, online sales channels also saw significant growth in shares due to their convenience, better marketing, and the various perks and discounts they offer for consumers. 

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Major Players

Apart from Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S which topped global sales in 2021, there are other major players that are making the global candy market more joyful. Ferrero Group from Luxembourg Italy, Mondelez International from Deerfield, Illinois, USA, Meiji Co. Ltd. from Tokyo, Japan, and Hershey Co. from Derry Township, Pennsylvania, USA complete the top five earners.

Meanwhile, Nestle SA of Vevey, Switzerland, Pladis from London, UK, and Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli AG from Kilchberg, Switzerland ranked six to eight, proving how Europe became one of the biggest regions boosting the confectionery industry. Ezaki Glico Co. Ltd from Osaka, Japan, and Haribo GmbH & Co. K.G. from Bonn, Germany close the top 10. 

Final Words

Summing it all, the candy industry is as massive as we adore its sweets, making it one of the top markets in the world. Seeing its growth, there’s no doubt that it will also remain in its place and will be ceaseless in expanding across different parts of the world, promising us even better and more stacks of candies year by year.