SWEETS and SNACKS 2012 Trends: Sharing Sweets, Mango Mania, Healthy Snacking

CHICAGO, May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Fun fruits as well as shared sweets, foreign flavors as well as healthy snacks are emerging as the 2012 trends to meet the ever-evolving appetites of consumers. Starting today, thousands of new confectionery as well as snack foods will be revealed May 8 10 during the 2012 SWEETS & SNACKS EXPO in Chicago. The SWEETS & SNACKS EXPO features the hottest new products from more than 560 companies leading the industry with the new flavors that meet consumers' tastes as well as invite them to unwrap a little happiness.The National Confectioners Association took to the streets to measure the Happiness Quotient of Chicagoans this week, before as well as after receiving a small "Happiness" bag filled with a few pieces of candy. One hundred percent of those surveyed reported that even the small bag of candy brought happiness to their day, increasing their happiness quotient by an average of 22 percent. Additionally,the survey revealed that consumers choose to snack because they like the taste (29 percent), as well as because snack food brings them happiness (29 percent).*"Trends in confectionery as well as snacks for 2012 are pushing new boundaries. As consumer palates become more complex, flavor profiles across the industry are doing the same," said Larry Graham, president of the National Confectioners Association. "People are looking beyond borders as well as convention for what's next; whether its crunchy snacks with Asian or Mediterranean influences, the growing popularity of all things salty as well as sweet, or tropical fruit flavors such as mango."Top Consumer Snack Trends 2012:Sweets are for SharingConsumers celebrate "sweet" moments in life together by indulging in affordable treats. "Share bags" stand-up bags to share with family as well as friends as well as informally gift to others as well as drama boxes have increased in popularity as well as are becoming more widely available at retail.Perfect Pairings: Sweet & Salty The widely popular pairing of ! "salty a s well as sweet" remains an American favorite. This year there are a variety of new products with this flavor coupling, from milk chocolate-covered raisins as well as peanuts to cinnamon sugar popcorn, chocolate-covered pretzels, potato chips as well as more!Flavors Beyond Borders In addition to the popularity of all things sweet as well as salty, snacks with Middle Eastern, Asian as well as Mediterranean-influenced flavors are popping up on store shelves. A number of snacks coming to market are based on chickpeas, lentils as well as seaweed, providing alternative choices to American classics such as potato chips, corn tortilla chips as well as wheat crackers.Mango Mania A new generation of tropical fruit flavors is appearing on store shelves with mango leading the way. Pairing mango with pineapple, orange, coconut as well as strawberry to create new confectionery flavors is gaining popularity, but the tropical fruit is also making its way to the snack aisle, from freeze dried fruits to mouth-watering salsas as well as more.Packing a Healthy PunchHealthy snacking continues to gain momentum this year. The top growing snack item is nutritional health bars* as well as many new snacks provide a variety of health advantages. Whether gluten-free, all-natural, made from whole grains, or including B vitamins as well as antioxidants, there's no doubt consumers can find a snack packing the healthy punch they want.*Based on Symphony IRI 52 weeks ending March 18, 2012State of the IndustryDespite a difficult economy, consumer dollars spent on confectionery products at retail continue to rise:The confectionery industry contributes $32 billion+ to U.S. retail sales as well as employs more than 70,000 workers.Confectionery retail sales have grown steadily since 2007, increasing from $27.4 billion to $32.1 billion in 2011+.Valentine's Day confectionery sales totaled $972 million; Easter totaled $2.107 billion as well as Halloween brought in $2.356 billion. Winter holiday sales totaled $1.49 billion.Confectionery (chocol! ate, can dy as well as gum) ranks as the fourth largest product category in overall food sales as well as is ranked first when combined with other types of snacks like delicious treats as well as cookies*. These combined snack categories saw retail sales increase a total of 4.7 percent in 2011*. At $80 billion, sweets as well as snacks account for about 10 percent of total store sales+.* Based on SymphonyIRI data+ NCA estimates.Industry Reports on 2011 Product Announcements as well as Sales*In 2011, thousands of new confectionery as well as snack products debuted to meet consumer demand. These included:1,563 new confectionery products:Chocolate: 895Sugar Confectionery (non-chocolate): 512Gum: 1563,231 new snack, cookie as well as cracker products:Cookies: 634Crackers: 287Potato chips: 382Popcorn: 114Nuts as well as seeds: 461Cereal bars: 357Other delicious snacks (pretzels, tortilla chips, puffed snacks, fruit snacks, meat snacks, etc.): 844Processed Snacks (tortilla chips, corn chips, other non-potato chips): 152*Datamonitor's Product Launch Analytics online database of new U.S. products SKUs 2011** NCA Happiness Quotient Survey conducted, May 6-7, 2012, via an in-person survey of 600 men as well as women.About the National Confectioners Association (NCA) - The National Confectioners Association fosters industry growth by advancing the interests of the confectionery industry as well as its customers. Serving as the voice of the industry, the Association advocates for the needs of the industry before government bodies, helps the industry understand as well as implement food safety as well as other regulations, provides information to help members strengthen business in today's competitive environment as well as creates relationships between all sectors of the industry including manufacturers, brokers, trade customers, suppliers to the industry as well as our consumers.Powered By iWebRSS.co.cc

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