Sales of chocolate and candy hit records in 2021, remaining on the high they’ve been riding during the pandemic, according to figures from the National Confectioners Association.
2021 sales were up 11% over 2020 and 15% over 2019, with total confectionery retail sales reaching $36.9 billion. Chocolate sales, at $16.7 billion, were up 9.2%, and non-chocolate was up 15% to $9.1 billion, according to the association’s State of Treating report.
One interesting pattern emerged in retail channels. Unit sales in supermarkets and drugstores were up only fractions of a percent, but they jumped by 13% in the important channel of convenience stores – possibly reflecting more consumers venturing outdoors during 2021.
“A key takeaway from the report is that in contrast to rising costs for families related to inflation, health care and simply putting food on the table, candy remains a simple, affordable treat,” John Downs, CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said in a statement.