Chocolate makers had a pretty good year in 2022, with overall dollar sales rising despite a slight downtick in collective unit sales.
Of course, some chocolate products enjoyed an uptick in unit sales. And in many cases, there is empirical evidence that packaging changes contributed to the improvement.
According to figures from IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, chocolate candy sales for the 52-week period through Dec. 4, 2022, totaled $17.90 billion, up 8.6% versus the corresponding prior-year period. Unit sales, meanwhile, were down by 4.1%.
Some chocolate candy products stood out by virtue of a substantial uptick in dollar sales and/or unit sales.
Chocolate Candy Box/Bag/Bar > 3.5 ounces
In the category of Chocolate Candy Box/Bag/Bar > 3.5 ounces, Reese’s recorded a 20.3% increase in dollar sales to $681.45 million, aided by an 11.1% rise in unit sales. In comparison, the entire category recorded only a 10.6% increase in dollar sales and a 3.4% drop in unit sales.
While not exactly a powerhouse in this category sales-wise (with only 1.15% of market share in dollars), Kinder achieved a 42.0% increase in dollar sales to $81.4 million, along with a 33.9% increase in unit sales.
Reese’s was on a bit of a tear in 2022 as far as trying out different packaging concepts.
In April, Reese’s launched a new Pantry Pack featuring 25 individually wrapped peanut butter cups. The new package is a stackable, portable pack that conveniently fits in pantries, desks, and even the fridge.
The new Pantry Pack was expected to appeal to grocery shoppers purchasing more bulk candy products online.
Also, in honor of National Lover's Day on April 23, the Reese’s brand brought Reese's Peanut Butter Lovers Cups and Reese's Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Cups back to store shelves for a limited time.
Reese's Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Cups feature double the peanut butter flavor, while Reese's Peanut Butter Lovers Cups are coated in an extra layer of smooth, sweet peanut butter creme with a milk chocolate bottom.
Meanwhile, Ferrero USA (manufacturer of Kinder products) was among the winners of the 2022 Product of the Year Awards presented by Product of the Year USA, the largest consumer-voted award for product innovation.
Individually wrapped Kinder Bueno Mini are crispy, creamy chocolate bites that defy expectations. It’s the mini version of the Kinder Bueno bar. Beneath a blanket of milk chocolate lies a thin, crispy wafer filled with a creamy hazelnut filling, all topped with a delicate, dark chocolate drizzle. The 30-piece bag is perfect for celebrations or everyday sharing with family and friends.
Chocolate Candy Box/Bag/Bar < 3.5 ounces
In the category of Chocolate Candy Box/Bag/Bar < 3.5 ounces, Ferrero achieved a 35.6% increase in dollar sales to $83.8 million, along with a 15.8% increase in unit sales. In comparison, the entire category recorded only a 7.6% increase in dollar sales and a 5.4% drop in unit sales.
Another star in the category was TWIX, which recorded a 29.0% rise in dollar sales to $298.9 million and an 11.4% increase in unit sales.
TWIX in 2022 added a new flavor to its lineup: TWIX Cookie Dough.
The new variety pairs the classic TWIX cookie bars with a creamy cookie dough-flavored layer, sprinkled with chocolate cookie bits, all coated with milk chocolate.
While most TWIX and cookie dough lovers had to wait until December to get their hands on the new flavor, TWIX gave away 1,000 first-taste samples to candy fans in celebration of National Cookie Dough Day on Tuesday, June 21.
Once the countdown hit zero, the first 1,000 fans visiting the TWIX website on National Cookie Dough Day and entering their information received first samples of TWIX Cookie Dough.
Chocolate Candy Snack Size
In the category of Chocolate Candy Snack Size, Reese’s had the highest dollar sales of $295.3 million – a year-on-year increase of 22.9% which, coincidentally, boosted Reese’s market share in dollars to 22.9%.
Butterfinger (manufactured by Ferrero USA) also performed well in the category, with its dollar sales rising by 19.5% to $57.6 million and unit sales increasing by 16.7%.
While not a heavy hitter in the category (with just a 0.33% market share in dollars), Heath knocked it out of the park with a 109.4% increase in dollar sales to $4.29 million, aided in no small part by a doubling of unit sales (up 101.7% year on year). Heath is manufactured by The Hershey Co.
Heath Milk Chocolate English Toffee Candy Bars are among The Hershey Co.’s lineup of gluten-free chocolate offerings.
The U.S. is the key market for the gluten-free chocolate in North America, and 28% of gluten-free chocolate market growth will originate in North America through 2026, according to a report by Technavio titled, "Gluten-free Chocolate Market by Product (Milk chocolate, Dark chocolate, and White chocolate) and Geography (North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, and South America) - Forecast and Analysis 2022-2026."
Hershey’s, a name that for many is synonymous with chocolate, also undertook a major packaging redesign that earned it recognition in 2022 – including the first redesign in more than 70 years for Hershey’s milk chocolate.
The most significant change was adding the star of the show – an image of the chocolate bar itself – to the package.
The new package design features a sizable, photorealistic image of the delicious product within, showcasing the texture of the pips – the rectangular, logo-embossed pieces that make up the chocolate bar – that consumers love so much.
The photorealistic images also show the “fins”— those jagged-edged sides to the bar— which have distinct colors that correspond to different flavors.
“It was important for us that consumers could easily find the right product,” said Rietje Becker, creative director at Soulsight, the agency that worked with Hershey on the redesign.
In a head-to-head test of the old and new designs conducted by Designalytics, consumers vastly preferred the new design to the old one—with 72% indicating they’d prefer to purchase the updated version, and only 28% sticking with the previous design. Moreover, the chocolate imagery was the most resonant element of the new design, whereas the logo proved most popular in the prior version.
The Hershey’s packaging redesign was among Designalytics’ Effectiveness Award Winners for 2022.
Report Abusive Comment