The pandemic has transformed consumer behaviour and desire for confectionery treats. Lockdowns and restrictions shifted confectionery into a space of indulgence necessary to meet cravings and emotional needs during challenging times. This need for indulgence has continued at the end of these restrictions and lockdowns, with many consumers still seeking indulgences for physical and emotional fulfilment.
While there are economic pressures that have significantly impacted the FMCG market and the confectionery aisle by default, causing the size, composition, and frequency of these treats and indulgences to change, however, these economic pressures and divides have only furthered the desire for small pleasures in many consumers.
Global socio-economic conditions are having a direct effect on trends in confectionery. This can be seen through market research expert Innova, and its recent report of the Top Ten Trends for 2023, the eighth of which is 'Revenge Spending'.
Revenge Spending entails that little treats have a heightened effect and power to positively impact consumers' lives when luxury spending comes under pressure; this can be directly associated with current inflation and cost of living challenges being felt globally. The research further indicated that with impulse purchasing, financial health was not constantly impacting consumer desire to buy little luxuries, mainly when confectionery products had versatile flavour profiles.
Consumers want to diversify and try something new in the confectionery aisle, whether they believe they are economically wealthy.
This means there is an enormous growth opportunity for confectionery brands, creating opportunities to incorporate consumer favourite flavours associated with other categories, experiment with cross-product mashups, or create hype around limited-edition varieties.
The pandemic and current economic pressures have also significantly impacted consumer concern and demand for health, with this being an area that confectionery brands can also utilise to create product interest and innovation.
Vegan and plant-based are growing in the confectionery aisle, with several brands and companies introducing plant-based alternatives to cater to this growing consumer demographic.
The health-conscious consumer has also promoted innovation for confectionery products that have reduced amounts of sugar, with some brands adding extra to the confectionery-eating experience with customisable kits, fun shapes, and packaging to increase the level of physical and emotional satisfaction consumers gain from their confectionery.