It turns out the top five players in Asia Pacific confectionery markets are Nestle S.A., Perfetti Van Melle SpA, Mondelez Intl., the Ferrero Group, and The Hershey Co.
And the five leading companies in Latin America are Nestle, Mondelez, Mars, Ferrero and Arcor.
A report by Transparency Market Research (TMR) shows that the Asia Pacific and Latin American sugar confectionery markets are fragmented and operated by a large number of international and local players.
The report, "Sugar Confectionery Market — Asia Pacific and Latin America Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2015 — 2023," says that the leading five companies in the Asia Pacific sugar confectionery market accounted for a combined share of more than 51 percent in 2014.
Similarly the five leading companies in Latin America held more than 47 percent in 2014.
The Asia Pacific market in particular is characterized by the strong presence of local players in India, Japan, South Korea, and China.
The fragmented nature of these markets has driven larger confectionery companies to innovate in order to break in.
In 2013, Hershey launched the Lancaster brand in China, marking the company's first global brand launch outside of the United States. Companies are also expanding their product ranges to meet the growing demand for premium chocolate and looking toward acquisitions as another growth strategy to increase competitiveness within these markets.
But while demand for premium and healthy sugar confections is rising across Asia Pacific and Latin America, palates vary across different regions. Top players in the industry have been driven to focus more on product innovation to suit local preferences and provide consumers with healthier variants.
Nestle, for one, has removed all artificial flavors, color, and ingredients from its portfolio of sugar confections in all its regional subdivisions.
Major players could also look to budding opportunities in these markets. A largely untapped target audience with increased purchasing power and a growing young population base in both regions offer new audiences. TMR also predicts that medicated confectionery will present opportunities, given the wide product range available.
Both Asia Pacific and Latin America are certainly growing markets. Valued at $26.1 billion in 2014, it's expected to grow at a 5.7 percent CAGR from 2015 to 2023. The market is estimated to rise to $46.1 billion by 2023.
Currently led by Asia Pacific, which accounted for more than 66 percent of the market in revenue in 2014, TMR analysts expect Latin America to grow the fastest during the forecasted period.
Toffees, caramels, and nougats also emerged as leading revenue generators for both areas at more than 28 percent in 2014.