Home ยป Chewy Candy’s Rise: A Sweet Opportunity for Independent Retailers

Chewy Candy’s Rise: A Sweet Opportunity for Independent Retailers

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TL;DR

Chewy candy, including popular brands like Starburst, Now and Later, Hi-Chew, and Laffy Taffy, has become a major driver of non-chocolate candy sales, offering a blend of soft texture and fruity flavors. This $1.7 billion sector is expanding due to its appeal to consumers seeking innovative taste experiences. Independent retailers can capitalize on this trend by stocking up on a variety of chewy candy options, including seasonal flavors and unique combinations, while focusing on attractive packaging and targeted promotions.


Chewy candy has transformed from a niche to a major player in the candy industry, driving non-chocolate candy sales and enticing consumers with its soft texture and fruity flavors. Brands like Starburst, Now and Later, Hi-Chew, and Laffy Taffy are leading this trend, offering a variety of chewy treats that have captivated candy lovers.

This evolution in candy preferences is in response to consumers’ growing interest in softer textures and flavors that combine fruitiness and crunch. The result is a booming sector valued at $1.7 billion for the 52 weeks ending March 26, marking a remarkable 16 percent increase compared to the previous year, according to Circana, a data insights provider. Interestingly, even though these chewy candies make up only 14 percent of the non-chocolate candy market volume, they drive an impressive 30 percent of its growth.

For small and independent retail store owners, this trend presents a golden opportunity. By offering a diverse range of chewy candy options, retailers can attract a wide customer base, especially households with kids, who tend to have larger shopping baskets.

The appeal of these chewy candies lies in their exciting flavors. While traditional options like apple, cherry, and grape remain popular, candy companies are introducing seasonal flavors like blood orange, exotic choices such as acai and dragon fruit, and even beverages-inspired variations reminiscent of sodas, cocktails, and seasonal coffees. These innovative flavors create a sense of anticipation and excitement, drawing in customers eager to try something new.

As the trend continues, new flavors and combinations are continuously being introduced. Companies are experimenting with unique year-round flavors, like lemon ginger chews, which offer a blend of exciting taste and potential health benefits. Sour flavors are also gaining traction among Gen X and millennial consumers, offering a tangy twist on the classic chewy candy experience.

When it comes to capturing consumer attention, packaging and presentation play a crucial role. Candy brands are focusing on clear communication of flavor and ingredients, using packaging to convey the essence of fun and joy associated with candy consumption. Offering a variety of packaging formats, from peg bags to standup pouches, allows customers to choose their preferred option.

In addition, promotions targeting families and relevant social issues have proven successful for these chewy candy brands. Partnerships with professional sports teams, family-friendly venues, and impactful social campaigns have created meaningful connections with consumers. Independent retailers can take inspiration from these strategies to engage their local communities and attract customers.

The chewy candy trend shows no signs of slowing down, with continued growth expected as flavors, textures, and formats continue to innovate. Independent retailers can benefit from this trend by stocking up on popular chewy candy brands and flavors, using eye-catching packaging, and creating meaningful partnerships that resonate with their customer base. As consumers seek delightful candy experiences, chewy candies offer the perfect blend of flavor, texture, and excitement, making them a valuable addition to any retailer’s selection.

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