Global Sugar Confectionery: At a Crossroads of Health or Indulgence

March 2020

Global sugar confectionery shows stagnation compared to other sweet snacks. Consumers are concerned about sugar intake, favouring sales of low-sugar sugar confectionery. On the other hand, sugar confectionery remains an indulgence and consumers expect its taste to be sweet, which makes flavour a key attribute. Players are focusing more on new sugar confectionery products with innovative flavours, formats and healthy functions in order to find growth opportunities.

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Key Findings

Sugar confectionery sales are stagnating in the global market

Global sugar confectionery is forecast a slower growth rate over the forecast period than other sweet snacking categories. A rising number of consumers are concerned about sugar intake and are pursuing healthier eating habits. Growth is also hampered by alternative products, such as naturally sweet fruit snacks.

Innovation in lollipops and pastilles, gums, jellies and chews helps to drive stronger performances than in other categories

Within sugar confectionery, boiled sweets, liquorice and other sugar confectionery have seen their share of total sales decline because consumers consider them to be old fashioned; however, lollipops and pastilles, gums, jellies and chews have seen a stronger performance, as a result of innovation in flavours and formats.

Wider implementation of regulations to reduce sugar will favour low-sugar sugar confectionery

Countries in Western Europe, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa have implemented regulations to reduce sugar intake through labelling, taxation and restrictions on distribution. In some markets, selling snacks or drinks which are high in sugar within or near schools is banned, which will affect sugar confectionery sales, but could boost low-sugar sugar confectionery.

Fortified/functional sugar confectionery will be a key driver over the forecast period

Functionality and the addition of healthy ingredients is a key focus for manufacturers of sugar confectionery, providing growth opportunities in the future. Not only vitamins and minerals, but also beauty, brain health and products aimed at senior consumers will be key areas in new product development.

Permissible indulgence of sugar confectionery

Many consumers still cannot give up the sweet taste when consuming sugar confectionery because it is an indulgence that helps to make them happy. Manufacturers will continue to offer indulgence through the launch of innovative products in terms of flavour and formats.


Key findings

Global Overview

Sugar confectionery struggles to compete with other snacking categories
Manufacturers of sugar confectionery push for product variety
More i nnovative categories forecast higher growth rates
Successful strategies to attract younger consumers
Asia Pacific has potential to grow, but not that bright a future
Brazil and India climb up the ladder among the top 10 countries
Gums and jellies players lead sales
Ferrero & related parties has changed products’ portfolio via M&A
Strong performance by convenience stores and e-commerce

Opportunity 1: Healthier Offerings

Governments push for regulations in fight against obesity
Low-sugar sugar confectionery leads health trend
Meeting consumer demand through familiar products with less sugar
Mindful eating puts emphasis on natural ingredients
Healthier concepts gain traction in sugar confectionery
Fortified/functional provides pockets of growth
Diverse ingredients with fortified functions attract consumer interest
Fortified functional sugar confectionery is more active in Asian market
Japan is a pioneer in fortified functional sugar confectionery

Opportunity 2: Indulgent Treats

Nostalgia trend spurs growth
Nostalgia trend opens new opportunities of sugar confectionery
Innovative flavours of sugar confectionery an important driving factor
Flavour innovations with unique tastes attract consumers’ attention


In global sugar confectionery market, consumers prefer features of…
Global sugar confectionery will be driven by…


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