Although demand for chocolate confectionery is already mature, sales continue to rise due to the strong consumer interest in indulgence, despite evolving consumer habits being somewhat unfavourable for snacks that are seen as less than entirely healthy. Another factor supporting sales growth is that chocolate confectionery is widely viewed as an affordable luxury, a product that satisfies consumer cravings for indulgence at low cost.
Canadians are increasingly gravitating towards premium offerings in chocolate confectionery as consumers continue to prioritise high quality and greater indulgence. During 2019, this benefited in particular high-end brands that are high in cacao and low in sugar content, including imported products and those with an explicit health positioning.
Canada’s national government legalised recreational cannabis with the passing of new legislation in June 2018. Although the full effect of this monumental shift in public drugs control policy remains to seen, there is huge potential for recent changes in cannabis legislation to influence sales of chocolate confectionery.
More than half of total value sales of chocolate confectionery in Canada are accounted for by the category’s four leading names Nestlé, Hershey, Cadbury Adams and Lindt & Sprüngli. The first three of these companies continued to lose value share in 2019 however as the premiumisation trend benefited players with a more premium image, including Lindt & Sprüngli and Ferrero.
With demand for chocolate confectionery continuously evolving, the leading players in the category have little choice but engage in constant innovation to maintain the interest of consumers and ensure that their brands and products remain relevant, popular and competitive. Among the most important developments in the category during the second half of the review period was the expansion of Ferrero Canada’s local manufacturing facility.
While positive sales growth continues to be seen in chocolate confectionery, the majority of the category’s leading mainstream brands experienced negative sales growth in 2019. This is a reflection of the shift in demand away from the leading brands and towards products that are presented as somehow unique or special.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.