2016 State Of The International Confectionery Industry Survey

In December 2016, ConfectioneryNews conducted its inaugural ‘state of the industry’ survey. The key objective of the poll was to gauge views about the current state of the Confectionery & Biscuit Processing Industry and identify the issues that are causing most concern.
ConfectioneryNews collated over 890 survey responses from confectionery industry professionals who form an integral part of the brand’s global readership.

State of the global Confectionery & Biscuit Processing Industry: key findings

  1. A clear majority of survey respondents ranked Chocolate (68%), Research & Development (65%), and Ingredients (49%) as the top three sector areas that they were interested in. 
  2. With 46% of votes, respondents strongly agreed that seasonal sales had a positive impact on their businesses in 2016. In addition to this, 42% of survey respondents also mentioned that ‘consumer health drive’ contributed positively. However, respondents expressed their concerns on currency (44%), sugar prices (43%), and cocoa prices (39%) and mentioned that these had a strong negative impact on their businesses in the last 12 months. 
  3. More than 55% of survey respondents had a positive outlook towards 2017, expecting sales to be better in 2017 when compared to 2016. 
  4. Over 50% of survey respondents stated that their companies would be spending more towards marketing/promotion in 2017 in comparison to the previous year. 
  5. 48% of respondents agreed that their companies were planning to export more in 2017 versus 2016. 
  6. Although currency and raw material prices are major concerns within the confectionery sector, 33% of respondents strongly agreed that their companies were planning to launch up more than 5 new products in 2017, while another 46% of respondents at least 1 to 3. 
  7. 58% of respondents agreed that their companies were planning more capital investment in 2017 when compared to last year. Highlighting this, 59% stated that their companies were open towards investing more into R&D. 
  8. A clear majority (64%) have indicated that their companies will be attending about the same number of events in 2017 as 2016, while another 26% more industry events than 2016. 
  9. Supermarkets (51%) and E-commerce (31%) topped the sales channels, offering the best growth prospects for marketing products within the confectionery industry. Following the list were convenience stores (38%) and premium retail (26%). 
  10. Survey respondents ranked premium chocolate (47%), seasonal products (31%), and functional confectionery (30%) as the top three confectionery segments with the biggest sales potential. 
  11. Majority of survey respondents stated that China (35%) tops the list of countries with the most export potential. This was closely followed by the US (34%) and India (19%). Other countries included the UK, European Union, Japan and South Korea. 
Highlights on the biggest challenges faced by the global confectionery industry
  • The rise of Internet sales.
  • Sugar prices and policies for calories reduction.
  • Raw material prices pose a big threat.
  • The biggest challenge for the confectionery industry in 2017 is how to respond to the strong public health calls for sugar reduction in mainstream products. That includes taking a position on the use of sweeteners, both from a technical and a marketing perspective.
  • Business stability. Brexit is adding to uncertainty.
  • Sustainability concerns, environmental and social concerns such as deforestation and child labor.
  • E-commerce capabilities due to capital investments and cold ship profitability.
  • Clean label formulation and GMO free ingredient sourcing.