Retail unit volume sales within the US confectionery packaging market decreased by 3% in 2012 to 43.6 billion units.
According to 'Confectionery Packaging in the US,' stand-up plastic pouches experienced the largest increase in confectionery in 2012, growing by 14% in the year.
Hershey unveiled its new Simple Pleasures chocolate in 2012, which is claimed to contain 30% less fat than traditional chocolate, something that is increasingly important to US consumers due to rising obesity rates in the country. Additionally, the product comes in a stand-up pouch with a zip lock closure, allowing for easy sharing and storage.
The drop in packaging reflects some changes in consumer behaviour. Many consumers who typically buy standard or economy brand tablets were more drawn towards countline products, such as Snickers, as most of the innovation for the year was concentrated there. The remaining tablet consumers were primarily interested in high-end or exotic chocolates, which are typically bought with less frequency and at a much higher unit price.
Pack sizes are shrinking across numerous areas of confectionery packaging to meet consumer demand. Many major manufacturers have started to decrease their serving or overall pack sizes, citing health concerns both among themselves and their consumers.
Additionally, many consumers want products that are easier to eat while they are on the go, so products such as Hershey's 2012 release of Rolo Minis are aimed at satisfying this need.
Finally, within the sugar-free gum category, many companies are releasing smaller pack sizes that carry a seemingly low sticker price to entice consumers into seeing them as a more affordable product. These smaller packs, however, carry a much high price per piece than larger pack sizes.
Overall unit sales within the US confectionery packaging market are expected to be very flat through to 2017, as numerous areas of confectionery are expected to move in different directions. While stand-up pouches and other popular pack types will help stimulate growth in some parts of chocolate and sugar confectionery, certain areas, such as gum, will continue to see very severe unit declines as consumers grow increasingly disinterested in these categories.
For more information on the US confectionery packaging market, see the latest research: Confectionery Packaging Market Research
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