While experiencing plummeting retail sales in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, sugar confectionery is set to slowly start its rebound in 2021. However, due to continued regulations on wearing a face mask, offerings positioned as a mouth refreshment such as standard mints and medicated confectionery are expected to continue struggling in 2021, although the decline in retail sales is set to be slower in comparison to 2020.
In South Korea, jellies has become saturated with various flavours and shapes following the massive growth in the review period due to manufacturers’ attempts to fascinate consumers with interesting products. Orion Corp took a step forward with innovation in terms of texture, by launching a jelly that embodied two different textures in a single product.
While the COVID-19 outbreak put a break on the unprecedented success of pastilles, gums, jellies and chews in 2020, retail volume and current value sales are on track to start recovery in 2021, although growth will be slow. New products continue to be aggressively introduced by domestic players in collaboration with convenience stores, as this is the retail channel where younger consumers mostly purchase such products on impulse.
Sugar confectionery is expected to continue its growing trend in both retail volume and current value terms through 2023, before demand slightly normalises resulting in moderate growth throughout the remainder of the forecast period. However, toffees, caramels and nougat as well as boiled sweets are expecting stagnating sales in the forecast period due to a lack of product innovation.
The success of the mints in South Korea has been traditionally tied up with the performance of gum, since these two categories generally fulfil a similar consumer need, a mouth freshener. However, due to growing concerns related to the negative impact of repetitively chewing gum on the jawline, the consumer demand for a replacement is set to continue increasing, especially amongst individuals in their 20s and 30s who tend to be more sensitive to such negative impact.
In the forecast period, domestic pharmaceutical companies will increasingly look for opportunities to tap into the growing jellies category. Indeed, Kwang Dong Pharmaceutical Co already released a series of jelly products infused with its well-known energy and vitamin drinks a couple of years ago, with the company maintaining a consistent sales performance since then.
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