This report shows the landscape of sugar confectionery in Eastern Europe and highlights the key growth drivers in the category. Hindered by economic downturn in Russia and Ukraine alongside product innovation in competing categories, sugar confectionery saw marginal growth. Yet, the category boasts potential both for products incorporating health trends such as natural ingredients and for larger companies making use of distribution networks as modern grocery retailers claim share.
Following economic turbulence in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in 2014-2016, sugar confectionery sales are now stabilising but as consumers turn to more indulgent options such as chocolate confectionery stagnation of the category is expected.
Pastilles, gums, jellies and chews are performing better because of product launches with natural purées and fruit juices appealing to consumers seeking healthier and more natural alternatives.
Russian companies United Confectioners OOO and KDV Group OOO make up two out of the three largest players because of the larger Russian market comparatively. While multinational players have a wider regional reach and a strong presence in the rest of the region, they have lost market share.
Government action aimed at tackling illnesses associated with high sugar intake are amping up. Efforts include social media campaigns to raise awareness and increases on VAT for sugar and confectionery products.
Medicated confectionery is a small category, but has potential to grow as consumers seek products with added health benefits. Positioned as healthy and with ingredients such as menthol, honey and lemon, the category can be expected to do well throughout the forecast period.
Traditional unpackaged products are becoming replaced by branded and packaged candy leading to further consolidation of market leaders as modern grocery retailers. With this, private label is also expected to grow due to the distribution power of regional discounters such as Lidl and Kaufland.
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