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China continues to lead the sugar and gum confectionery market. The US remains the second largest market.

The poor performance of sugar and gum confectionery in developed markets is attributable to a number of causes, ranging from the continued sluggish behavior of gum sales to the global obesity pandemic, which has led to a number of governments starting to intervene by taxing high-sugar products. As a result, consumers are cutting back on their sugar confectionery intake.

It is not just government intervention, but it is also the actions taken by parents. In a category with a strong focus on children, sugar confectionery has been in the spotlight not only because of its high sugar content, but also because of the artificial color and flavor that are so popular in kid-focused products. Removing these ingredients and replacing them with natural equivalents have been expensive, and while the “free-from” products now suit parents’ requirements, they are not always agreeing with the sensibilities of children, who lament the passing of the electric blue and bright white candies they enjoyed.

In 2015, manufacturers continued to hunt for the “best” sweeteners for sugar confectionery, challenged by the fact that success in producing affordable confectionery with the “right” taste and texture continue to be elusive. At the same time, there has been growing interest in using confectionery as a delivery system for functional ingredients, an area that is likely to continue to gain in importance as manufacturers look for ways to justify consumers’ confectionery purchase.

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