The Colorful Side of Candy  

Distribution advantages make it a great fit for summertime promotions – and year-round fun.
Sales of non-chocolate candy as tracked by Information Resources Inc. dipped a negligible 0.7 percent in 2003.
According to ACNielsen Strategic Planner data, the percentage of non-chocolate candy receiving feature or display treatment was down 0.3 percent in 2003, so now may be the time to give non-chocolate some extra attention.
The Imperatives
Because most non-chocolate products don’t require the degree of climate control that chocolate does, this category affords excellent opportunities to get creative with summertime promotions. The proliferation of red, white and blue confections makes July 4th an ideal time to encourage shoppers to think beyond the traditional chocolate bars for campfire S’mores.
Many retailers are reporting success with summertime “candy carnival events,” and non-chocolate can play a major role here. Its color and product variety make non-chocolate a natural visual merchandising tool. So tap into that “eye candy” aspect to generate excitement at locations throughout the store. Work with vendors to create “to go” packs, perhaps sours or gummies in a kid-size plastic cup.
How about a vendor-supported promotion where candy is linked to fitness and outdoor fun? Perhaps a camping out display that shows off candy in a canoe or an in-store sweepstakes that offers the chance to win a mountain bike.
And don’t neglect the non-chocolate during seasonal sales periods because 19 percent of non-chocolate sales are of seasonal products, according to a report from the market research firm Packaged Facts.
With products for every age group and taste preference, a perception of relative healthfulness, and a long list of sub-segments, opportunities to pump up non-chocolate sales aren’t hard to find. Packaged Facts predicts that the overall market will reach $6.9 billion by 2007.
2003 Non-Chocolate Sales By Selected Segments*
Segment $ Sales
(in millions)
% Change
vs. Year Ago
unit sales
(in millions)
% Change
vs. Year Ago
Hard Sugar Candy/
Pkg and Roll Candy
Licorice Box/Bag > 3.5 oz.
Non-Chocolate Chewy Candy
Non-Chocolate Candy
Plain Mints
*In food, drug and mass merchandisers, excluding Wal-Mart. Source: Information Resources Inc.