Despite the increasing focus on health-related issues in other confectionery categories, flavour remained the most important purchasing factor for sugar confectionery in the Netherlands, rather than concentrating on calorie intake. However, there was not such a high degree of innovation within the category or premiumisation, despite local consumers willing to try new flavours.
Unlike trends witnessed in gum or chocolate confectionery, the concept of sugar-free products within sugar confectionery was not particularly popular at the end of the review period, although with rising health concerns, this could emerge more strongly over the forecast period, as the government is committed to encouraging consumers to pursue healthier lifestyles including reducing their sugar intake with the aim of slowing the number of people suffering from diabetes. However, consumers who purchase sugar confectionery are aware of the product’s ingredients, with parents often dictated to in terms of a child’s preference despite acknowledging the high sugar content, preferring to look at the additional need for energy that small amounts of sugar confectionery can offer their children when they are doing energetic activities.
As with many packaged food categories, sustainability is becoming an increasingly important focus for both Dutch consumers and players. The Dutch are enthusiastic about ecological issues and the amount of sugar confectionery sold in flexible plastic which cannot be recycled is of great concern.
Perfetti Van Melle Group retained a slim lead over sugar confectionery in 2019 due to its range of brands including Klene liquorice, Smint and Mentos in mints, with the latter recording a strong performance compared to most other types of sugar confectionery, and Wybert in medicated confectionery. Sugar confectionery is fairly fragmented with a high number of brands competing, leading to stagnation for the leader in terms of share and value sales growth with dynamic brands gaining consumers’ attention such as Lonka from Cloetta, which was the leading brand in toffee, caramels and nougat.
Haribo Nederland retained its third position within overall sugar confectionery in 2019, and is extremely active in promoting its high-profile brands Haribo and Maoam in pastilles, gums, jellies and chews. The player attempted to enter the health segment by launching Maoam with 30% less sugar than standard gums, using dextrin as a sugar alternative.
Vegan sugar confectionery is a niche but upcoming market in the Netherlands. The brand Katjes offers a large range of vegan products, including fruit gums in a bear shape in various flavours such as cherry, lemon and pineapple.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.