Trending Candy and Snacks for the Holidays

Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
Bridget Headshot
Clean-label confections like Cocomels are poised to gain popularity during the holidays

As they peruse the candy and snack aisles this holiday season, what types of items will consumers be seeking in particular?

“Fun-size candy bars continue to be a big sales driver for Halloween,” asserts Larry Pierce, EVP, merchandising and marketing at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash. “However, in the past five years, we are seeing a trend with customers purchasing larger-size bags of candy. As a result, our family of stores and other retailers’ bags of candy range from $5.99 to $24.99.”

For his part, Tim Quinn, VP of trade development for Chicago-based Mars Wrigley Confectionery, notes: “We continue to see a growing demand for seasonal shapes. This year, we’ve added new Dove Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs to our Easter lineup, which joins our other popular seasonal shapes: Twix Hearts, Eggs, Ghosts and Santas, and Snickers Hearts, Eggs, Pumpkins and Trees.”

Continues Quinn: “Gifting is also growing, and shoppers seek out gifts with a unique flavor or personal touch. We always offer interesting novelties for each holiday. This Christmas season, we have a new floor stand that contains six each of the Snickers Brand Yard and Twix Brand Yard.”

As for what’s next in holiday candy and snacks, the clean-label movement will most likely take up residence in that space as well.

Kenneth Hausmann, category business manager for candy at Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets LLC, believes that “more natural/organic products will need to be incorporated as consumers continue to demand more transparency as it relates to ingredients and allergens.”

JJ Rademaekers, CEO of Boulder, Colo.-based JJ’s Sweets, maker of dairy-free, organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, corn syrup-free and vegan Cocomels caramels, concurs on the inclusion of “more better-for-you or natural candy displays,” noting, “People are getting sick of the same old brands year after year.”

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds