While non-chocolate candy appeals to children and younger adults, it also appeals to older adults who are increasingly looking for healthier, more nutritious indulgences and better-for-you candies and snacks. As a result, greater emphasis is being placed on the creation of healthier candies with nutritious ingredients or inclusions, such as nuts, seeds, botanicals, and fruit. Generally, consumers are seeking out natural/organic and minimally processed products; avoiding artificial or GMO ingredients, controversial ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, or specific allergens such as gluten or soy; demanding information on ingredient sourcing and processing; and addressing eco-consciousness and sustainability concerns.
Packaged Facts notes that demand for confections offered by traditional candy brands remains largely unabated. Although healthy snack brands are growing, these products remain niche as major candy brands continue to deliver the majority of sales in the category. However, many of these big players are adopting and adapting clean-label and transparency product attributes where feasible.