Chocolate Confectionery - US - April 2012
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Chocolate confectionery posted modest year over year sales growth through the recession to reach $18.6 billion in 2011. A combination of product innovation and price increases led to a 16% gain in the category from 2006-11. Leading companies expanded their mainstay product lines by way of new formats and flavors in order to sway loyalists to try new things. Such tactics are key, given the saturation point of the market. With 92% of respondents to Mintel’s custom consumer survey consuming chocolate themselves, growth in the category will require boosting purchase occasions, rather than growing a greater consumer base.
The category benefits from consumer willingness to purchase products through a variety of retail channels. However, price increases seen in the category led to a slowdown in growth in 2011. Such activity opens the market to private label manufacturers that can benefit from consumer interest in saving money. At the same time, as price points for mainstream products rise closer to premium levels, premium brands have a chance to offer consumers a more quality bang for only slightly more buck. Throughout this report, Mintel will address the issues facing the category, including:
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