How Do Candies Become Popular in 2021?

POSTED ON APRIL 20, 2021   |   BY JOSH ROTHSTEIN

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Well, get ready for some good news!

Things are about to get a little crazy – and in a good way. Putting up with COVID has made it a long, long, long year for all of us. We have all been refraining from going where we want to go, seeing who we want to see and enjoying what we want to enjoy. But the end is near. In a couple of months or so, enough of the population will be immune and then it’s time to kick COVID to the curb.

You can actually see the anticipation building. People planning trips are beginning to share posts on social media. Upcoming re-unions and family get-togethers are triggering a flood of Facebook likes and Instagram posts. Tik-Tok trends are featuring more and people showing us how they’re planning to celebrate. Even the folks on Reddit and Twitter can’t help but get caught up in the excitement.

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So, what does all this mean for candy retailers and specialty retailers? Things are about to get a whole lot sweeter. Want proof?

First and foremost . . . Candy Is Timeless.

Even during frustration of being cooped up in the COVID lock-down, people found a way to give themselves a special treat. And they did so again and again. People reached out for something sweet whether it was their favorite candies, popular candies from when they were kids or the newest candy available. Even kid’s candy insights inspired “the kid in all of us” to enjoy more. Overall, candy sales increased in 2020 and a big part of this was the year over year 12% increase for Halloween. This all happened during a year when the “candy experts” were concerned the pandemic would drive down sales.

This begs the question -- if candy sales actually went up during COVID, what do you think might happen when people are allowed to let loose a little? Perhaps not worry so much. Or even -- perish the thought -- actually have some fun with other people by sharing something sweet as a way to connect.

Holiday sales will be hotter than ever. After more than a year of being penned-in, isolated, and curtailed because of COVID, every single holiday is going to be savored. According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), over 77% of shoppers say they like the seasonal aisle and enjoy browsing for new items. However, more importantly, 87% say they prefer confectionary items that match the season. Can you think of a more wonderful way to increase candy sales than by offering seasonal items specific to the particular holiday? And don’t be surprised if this year we see some brand-new energy sprout up around the holidays to make up for the ones we all missed last year.

Consider what we’ve seen in retail with the increase in the sales of chocolate. While candy sales increased since the start of the pandemic, chocolate has enjoyed the most growth. So, when you are stocking up on all the latest seasonal items, be sure to include a wide variety of chocolate choices.

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As confirmation, recent reports indicate sales increased across chocolate categories by nearly 6% nationwide. Compare this to roughly 3% for non-chocolate candy items. This is even more significant when you consider confectionary sales in the US have grown 15% since 2012.

Candy Connects People. Just Look at Tik-Tok.

It always has and today we’re seeing more and more people connect over candy on social media. Tik-Tok, is a short-video sharing platform that has become sensationally popular with young people. Short videos featuring teenagers engaging in good-natured challenges to each other are spreading like wildfire. These Tik-Toks can go worldwide and often they can start a candy craze. One such example features “Toxic Waste Slime Licker”. It’s a sour liquid candy that comes in a roll-on bottle. Videos show kids rolling on the liquid onto their tongues as fast as possible so that it leaves a brightly colored stripe.

Staying on top of Tik-Tok is important. Creating a popular Tik-Tok profile and staying aware of trending candy will help you keep your shelves properly stocked. When a brand-new trend hits, you don’t want to be facing shortages as demand surges.

In addition to keeping a close eye on Tik-Tok, it’s a good idea to stay aware of how brands are jockeying for popularity on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as the other media channels you may monitor.

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People Typically Buy Candy In-Person.

Online sales of candy items are becoming more popular. Although there can be some initial online challenges, being able to take quick advantage of emerging candy trends is proving to be increasingly important. Selling candy on a website may not be your primary source of sales but there is definitely a growing customer affinity to shopping online. Over the last year, candy online sales made significant gains, but not as much as online sales in general. Estimates report that 61% of consumers purchased their groceries online and yet only 26% purchased their candies online.

At Redstone Foods, we are proud to offer a vast array of seasonal, specialty and nostalgic candies, plus so much more. In addition to our candies, we offer 500 to 600 specialty soda items. And, we make sure we maintain them at the inventory levels required to serve your needs. Redstone Foods is one of the largest candy and glass bottle soda suppliers in the nation and it is what enables us to always put you, our customer, first.