As consumers increasingly crave novel and unique flavors, manufacturers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) confectionery sector are introducing products to suit the taste and preferences of these variety seekers, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
In line with the trend, Mars launched Chocolate Candies in a Lahuasheng (Spicy Peanut) flavor in China while in New Zealand Whittaker’s launched Chocolate Bars with ingredients such as Australian wattleseeds, and Colombian mango with passion fruit.
The company’s report, ‘Opportunities in the Asia-Pacific Confectionery Sector: Analysis of Opportunities Offered by High-Growth Economies’, forecasts the regional confectionery market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% from US$41.6bn in 2018 to US$55.1bn in 2023.
China, Japan and India together accounted for over two-third value sales in the APAC confectionery sector in 2018. India is forecast to record the fastest growth in the region at a CAGR of 11% during 2018–2023. The report identifies China, India, Australia and New Zealand as the high-potential countries based on the company’s unique scoring system, which involves risk-reward analysis of 12 major economies in the APAC region.
The report reveals that consumption share of chocolates is expected to increase across all high-potential countries in the region while sugar confectionery is forecast to experience a decline in its consumption share over the outlook period.
The chocolate category accounts for a considerably high share of the confectionery sector in countries such as Australia (70.4%) and New Zealand (69.1%). Also, with high per capita expenditure on chocolates (around US$100), both these Oceanian countries offer great potential for chocolate manufacturers.
Mohammed Masiuddin Shajie, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, says: “With growing health consciousness, and increasing incidences of lifestyle related disorders such as obesity and diabetes, consumers are turning towards low/no-sugar and low-calorie confectionery products. Novel and experiential is the key trend driving the APAC confectionery market.”
Shajie continues: “The consumer shift from indulgence to ‘healthy-indulgence’ will force manufacturers to rebrand and reformulate their products to create a healthy image. Recent product launches such as Amul’s Green-T Chocolate, which claims to be enriched with green tea extracts is a perfect example of this trend, which will gain traction in the years to come.”
Mars led the APAC confectionery sector, followed by Mondelez International and Lotte Co. ‘Dairy Milk’ remains the leading brand in the chocolate category while Extra and Hsu-Fu-Chi led gum and sugar confectionery categories, respectively.
Shajie concludes: “Although the market for confectionery products with functional ingredients is niche, it is forecast to grow in the years to come. Offering functional benefits, such as ‘energy boosting’ and ‘relaxation’ to consumers, will help manufacturers to differentiate their products from regular offerings.”