Origin chocolate is expected to gain popularity over the forecast period as regional chocolate specifications and rising consumer education and marketing will drive sales. While brands labelled as, for example, Belgian chocolate were already present and gained popularity in 2018, products from more exotic destinations (such as Latin America) are set to witness growing demand.
Fairtrade and organic chocolate products are set to gain popularity in Slovakia as consumers continue to opt for better quality products or premium features. High cocoa content, premium design and packaging are going to remain highly popular thanks to strengthening household purchasing power and rising willingness to spend on quality snacking.
Growing competition from processed fruit snacks, ice cream and savoury snacks significantly hampered growth in chocolate confectionery in 2018. Looking further into the future, nuts and dried fruit coated in chocolate will grow in popularity following the healthier snacking trend and optimal snack sizes.
Rising average prices within chocolate confectionery in 2017 and 2018 highlighted a rising premiumisation trend in Slovakia. As consumers increasingly opt for quality over value, fewer or less intensive/significant price promotions are expected over the forecast period.
As impulse shopping is an important factor in purchases of chocolate confectionery (as well as snacks in general), players in the category are expected to focus increasingly on getting the consumer to notice a brand. Due to the overuse of price promotions and discounts the term “discounted” commands less consumer interest as in such a case there are always multiple brands to choose from during a price promotion.
High quality private label chocolate confectionery products gained popularity in 2018 thanks to combining taste with quality product features such as coca content – for example, Lidl’s tablet chocolate with high cocoa content (its Ecuador label), Kaufland’s Exquisite brand chocolate assortment and Tesco’s Finest. Private label products are expected to be major innovators in terms of chocolate confectionery, which will positively impact their overall share over the forecast period.
Consumers want added value from their sugar-free gum brands, demanding for example a whitening effect or extra dental protection. This plays in favour of products such as Orbit White or Orbit Professional, which are positively viewed for their additional beneficial properties.
Mixing gum flavours (such as menthol, eucalyptus or mint) is expected to create consumer interest and revitalise product innovation in sugar-free gum over the forecast period. Products which offer more daring flavours, for instance mixing traditional ones with herbs may become tested by niche players over the forecast period.
Sugar-free gum enjoyed massive popularity thanks to the trend of dental health and strong marketing support. In particular, Wrigley’s brands were popular and benefited from significant marketing support.
New product launches and new entrants are expected to increasingly challenge Wrigley’s position. Aggressive marketing support for brands such as Mentos Gum (from Perfetti Van Melle Slovakia) and Tic Tac Gum (Ferrero Ceska) helped to reduce Wrigley’s retail value share in 2018.
Smaller players started to emerge in 2017 and 2018 – for example, Arctic Swiss chewing gum (by Arctic sro), which is free from sugar and aspartame (an artificial sweetening agent), made a visible debut in convenience stores and supermarkets in 2017. Aspartame was replaced by a higher content of xylitol, which is considered to be more helpful in killing bacteria.
Private label products gained ground marginally in 2018 thanks to a slowly expanding product assortment in retail stores. However, growing competition from large multinational players is set to limit growth in sales of private label products and negatively impact retail value share.
Average unit price growth was responsible for approximately half of the category’s growth in 2018, which was the result of slightly less significant price promotions and a rising premiumisation trend in Slovakia. This was visible across all sugar confectionery categories, despite the liberalisation of the sugar market in Europe (as production quotas on sugar were lifted in October 2017), which resulted in significantly declining sugar commodity prices in early 2018.
Slovakia faced rising obesity levels across all age groups in 2018 – with 21% of the adult population classified as obese (BMI 30kg per sq m or more). In addition, an overweight population of 1.
Sugar confectionery sales in 2018 were positively affected by pastilles, gums, jellies and chews, which was the one of the best performers. Within the category, Haribo GmbH & Co KG recorded significant growth in terms of both sales and retail value share in 2018, thanks to a developing premiumisation trend in Slovakia and brand advertising.
Private label sales in 2018 strengthened slightly in terms of retail value share when compared to 2017. This development was supported by significant advertising by main retail players and brands, such as Kaufland Slovenská Republika vos and Lidl Slovenská Republika vos.
In 2018 IDC Holding, the largest domestically-owned snacks manufacturer in Slovakia, was in the process of expanding its production capacities, with plans to move its confectionery production from its Figaro plant to the town of Cifer. By expanding production of sugar confectionery and seasonal chocolate products the company plans to challenge the larger confectionery players and increase its retail value share.
The healthier living trend is expected to encourage manufacturers to introduce lower-sugar variations of their brands. For example, in 2018 JoJo (Nestlé Slovensko) introduced JoJo Gummybears with 30% less sugar, as an alternative for healthy-minded consumers.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.