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Confectionery in Western Europe

January 2017

With per capita spend exceeding USD106, Western Europe has the highest spend on confectionery anywhere in the world. However, 2016 has seen lacklustre growth as health concerns and development of healthier snack alternatives have limited confectionery’s growth momentum in what is a mature region. That said, there are opportunities both at category and market level. Growing in double-digit terms, Turkey is one of the markets to watch out for and so are premium and bite size chocolate products.

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Putting Western Europe into context

With less than 0.5% growth, Western Europe has been one of the slowest growing regions over 2011-2016. That said, the market is highly saturated. With per capita spend on confectionery exceeding USD106, it has the highest spend on confectionery anywhere in the world. Health concerns, in particular the growing popularity of reduced sugar diets, prompt consumers to switch to savoury snacks and yoghurt, creating one of the primary barriers to increased consumption. Confectionery is the most popular snack type in Western Europe. Consumers in Germany, Austria and the UK consume more than five times as much confectionery as the global average.

A handful of markets provide the majority of the region’s dynamism

While Western Europe’s overall growth has been lacklustre, Germany accounted for over 65% of region’s growth over 2011-2016, due largely to the increasing popularity of chocolate pouches and bags which carry a higher retail price than tablets or countlines. The UK has also shown positive growth as consumers increasingly opt for premium variants. Ferrero and Lindt both recorded double-digit growth in the UK with Ferrero upping its investment through the acquisition of Thorntons. Turkey was another top performer. While having a much lower base than Germany and the UK, annual average growth over 2002-2021 exceeds 2% making it the third largest contributor to growth. Over 2016-2021, Germany, the UK, Turkey along with France will increase their contribution to growth.

European consumers have a clear preference for chocolate

Chocolate is by far the most popular confectionery type in the region. In Germany, the UK and France, Western Europe’s biggest markets, consumer spend on chocolate is more than twice than that on sugar and almost 10 times as much as that on gum. Moreover, with the exception of Germany and Italy, chocolate is the only confectionery type that has shown a positive growth over 2002-2016. In Turkey, chocolate sales exceeded sugar confectionery sales in 2010, and reach over USD1 billion in 2016. While children are the main target group for sugar confectionery, chocolate appeals to a much wider audience and lends itself much better to innovation. Although birth rates are set to slow down in the region, chocolate’s popularity is likely to continue into 2021.



Regional Overview

Putting Western Europe into context
A handful of markets provide the majority of the region’s dynamism
European consumers have a clear preference for chocolate
Turkey defies the region’s lacklustre growth in confectionery
Solid growth for tablets; gum takes a hit in Italy and France
Health concerns and retail restructuring take their toll on gum sales
Increased availability and product variety likely to fuel future growth
Income a stronger driver of future growth rather than price
Discounters gain share but traditional grocery still of high importance
Distribution characterised by a clear North-South divide

Leading Companies and Brands

Consolidation marks the confectionery industry in Europe
Mondelez dominates the market but private label is close contender
Premium positioning a significant advantage for Ferrero and Lindt
Kinder overtakes Cadbury as the leading confectionery brand

Country Snapshots

Germany: Market context
Germany: Competitive and retail landscape
UK: Market context
UK: Competitive and retail landscape
France: Market context
France: Competitive and retail landscape
Italy: Market context
Italy: Competitive and retail landscape
Switzerland: Market context
Switzerland: Competitive and retail landscape
Spain: Market context
Spain: Competitive and retail landscape
Sweden: Market context
Sweden: Competitive and retail landscape
Netherlands: Market context
Netherlands: Competitive and retail landscape
Turkey: Market context
Turkey: Competitive and retail landscape
Denmark: Market context
Denmark: Competitive and retail landscape
Belgium: Market context
Belgium: Competitive and retail landscape
Austria: Market context
Austria: Competitive and retail landscape
Norway: Market context
Norway: Competitive and retail landscape
Ireland: Market context
Ireland: Competitive and retail landscape
Finland: Market context
Finland: Competitive and retail landscape
Greece: Market context
Greece: Competitive and retail landscape
Portugal: Market context
Portugal: Competitive and retail landscape


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