Higher inflation was a key trend during 2019, impacting almost all packaged food categories, including chocolate confectionery. All prices rose dramatically, as did costs for manufacturers and retailers.
Chocolate confectionery sales continue to rise at a healthy rate due to increasing demand for higher quality chocolate such as tablets, which offer better taste and premium packaging and are generally more expensive and very similar to some European brands in terms of quality. In addition, local brands from Tunisian producers such as Maestro are also benefitting from this trend.
Chocolate tablets will remain the most dynamic category within chocolate confectionery in Tunisia, with a number of flavours set to be launched by existing brands such as cookies, caramel, and orange, thus helping to maintain dynamic growth and an attractive offer for consumers.
Domestic player SOTUCHOC continues to lead chocolate confectionery sales. The company was created 40 years ago and offers a wide product portfolio, including tablets, and enjoys strong consumer loyalty.
Brand owners are looking towards packaging development within chocolate confectionery in order to maintain their sales shares. Leading player SOTUCHOC changes the packaging of its tablets every two to three years in order to compete with international brands, which are very dynamic in this area.
Major players are increasing their focus on advertising campaigns. Popular brands such as Saïd are well-advertised through different communication channels like radio, TV and street billboards, while global brands such as Galaxy are well advertised on Arab channels such as MBC, which are watched by Tunisian consumers.
Sugar-free chewing gum continues to gain more shelf space in supermarkets and hypermarkets, with players in this category targeting different consumer groups and looking to attract sugarised gum consumers, especially from low-income segments, via the offering of discounts in neighbourhood grocery outlets. However, due to higher prices, demand for sugar-free products is mostly limited to high and middle income consumers, who are the main target groups of producers.
Although independent small grocers are expected to continue to lead distribution of chewing gum over the forecast period, the channel will lose further sales share to modern competitors such as supermarkets and hypermarkets. The rising number of modern retail outlets, coupled with consumers’ increasingly hectic lifestyles and desire for a one-stop shop where they can compare prices and choose from a wide variety of brands, is expected to drive the shift in distribution over the forecast period.
Gum is projected to record healthy retail volume and value growth over the forecast period. Sales will be driven by intensifying competition, as well as the modernisation of retailers, with supermarkets and hypermarkets continuing to expand across the country, thus increasing the range of available chewing gum brands and boosting demand.
Sales continue to be led by Confiserie Triki le Moulin, which benefits from its long-standing presence in the country, the affordability of its brands, as well as a large brand portfolio which is available in all chewing gum categories. The company offers a wide variety of brands, including the leading Florida range and Florident, Twin Bubble, Mango, Super Jumbo Billes and Ballon Elephant.
Gum is dominated by standard brands such as Florida and Florident, with the presence of premium brands remaining limited. Gum continues to be considered an impulse purchase, with most available brands competing within the economy segment and being locally produced.
Tunisian consumers are known for being willing to try new products. Therefore, as the economy recovers, players and retailers are expected to be more inclined to introduce new product developments.
Although consumer health and wellness awareness continues to rise, loyal consumers still demand sugar confectionery both for themselves and their children, with demand also being boosted by growing interest in fun and indulgence. Indeed, indulgence will remain the driving factor, with consumers looking for new experiences and surprises when it comes to eating their favourite treats.
Other sugar confectionery will continue to generate strong sales thanks to an expanding consumer base. Chamia remains one of the most important traditional products in this area in Tunisia, gaining popularity each year as a result of the offering of attractive packaging and aggressive advertising campaigns via TV and radio, especially during the month of Ramadan when there is a peak in demand.
Sugar confectionery products will continue to mainly be purchased through traditional grocery retailers thanks to their offering of a wide variety of brands and low prices. Products in most sugar confectionery categories will continue to benefit from wide availability and the fact they are mostly sold in neighbourhood independent small grocers, where both children and young adults can purchase them.
The leading player in sugar confectionery in Tunisia is La Confiserie des Aghlabites, closely followed by La Confiserie Triki le Moulin. The company is present in various distribution channels, offering a diverse product portfolio and thus enjoying strong consumer loyalty.
Tunisian consumers are expected to increasingly opt for healthier food products due to rising health awareness in the country, especially among middle and upper income consumers. During the forecast period, growing health-consciousness and concerns about obesity will fuel demand for sugar-free confectionery, in line with global trends.
Domestic players dominate sugar confectionery as they benefit from strong brand names, a presence in both traditional and modern channels, as well as low prices. However, a growing number of small brands are offering very cheap products from Spain or the Middle East and Turkey, mainly via neighbourhood grocers and street vendors.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.