Step one in boosting non-chocolate candy sales in convenience stores is knowing what non-chocolate candies consumers are buying and then stocking it, confident in the realization that these candies have seen major gains over at least the past year.
For example, IRI figures for the convenience store channel for calendar year 2022, ending Jan. 1, 2023, show sales of non-chocolate
candy topped $3 billion, an impressive 15% increase. Within that category:
- Non-chocolate chewy candy saw sales of $2.2 billion, up 13.9%.
- Hard sugar candy/package and roll candy recorded sales of more than $264 million, a 12% rise.
- Novelty non-chocolate candy registered sales of almost $169 million dollars, up 55.4%.
- Licorice box/bag saw sales of nearly $156 million, a jump of 12.9%.
- Specialty nut/coconut candy recorded sales of just under $117 million, a 9.3% rise.
- Plain mints notched just under $83 million in sales, a 9.2% increase.
- Sugar-free diet candy scored just over $822,000 in sales, up 7.4%.
- At the same time, gum sales topped $977 million, a 17.8% increase.
- Breath fresheners recorded just under $187 million in sales, up 7.6%.
The host of well-known brands renders the non-chocolate candy aisle a destination location, featuring such names as Skittles, Lifesavers, Starburst, Sour Patch, Airheads, Jolly Rancher, Charms, Twizzlers, Payday, Mentos and Brach’s.
While promotions always help move the needle, those that resonate with the public through attachment to a cause they believe in can move that needle still further. For instance, last year Mars Inc.’s Skittles partnered with GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) for the third year in a row as part of its self-described mission to increase LGBTQ visibility and celebrate those within the community. The brand’s annual Pride packs — which have historically been all gray to represent the brand’s cemented efforts of support — received a splash of color thanks to six artists within the LGBTQ community who crafted original designs that represent how they “see the rainbow” every day.