Confectionery sales to rise despite sugar health fears

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Top of the chocs: Chocolate is the strongest performer in confectionery sales
Top of the chocs: Chocolate is the strongest performer in confectionery sales

Related tags: Chocolate, Saturated fat

Confectionery sales in the UK will grow by 8.6% by 2019, despite more than 60% of Brits raising fears about the high levels of sugar in sweets, according to a new report.

Findings from ‘Confectionery’, ​a studyfrom the research firm Key Note, follows advice given by the authors of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition’s report on carbohydrates​for consumers to reduce free sugar intake by half to 5%.

“Sugar has replaced saturated fats as the primary health concern in the UK,” ​the report said. “In addition to contributing to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, it has also been claimed that excessive sugar consumption can be addictive in the same way as alcohol and tobacco.”

However, most nutritionists and scientists have dismissed claims that sugar is addictive.

Despite UK demand for confectionery declining, as a result of worried parents limiting consumption among children, total value sales rose by 2.1% in 2014, the report showed.

Largest and fastest growth

UK confectionery

  • 2.1% sales growth in 2014
  • 8.6% sales growth by 2019
  • £6.64bn market value by 2019

The largest and fastest growth area was chocolate, which saw its sales value rise to £4.3bn in 2014, it said.

 “Following year-on-year growth of 7.2% in 2011, the sector then expanded by 1.6% and 4.5% in 2011 and 2012 respectively, before exhibiting growth of 2.3% in 2014,” ​the report said.

“The chocolate confectionery sector accounts for the majority of total confectionery market value in the UK and sustained growth since 2010.”

Despite press reports about a cocoa shortage potentially reducing the supply of chocolate​ in the future, global production rose by 10.4% in 2014 to 4.4Mt.

Yet, forecasts have predicted a 2.8% fall in production volumes as a result of a decreased output from Africa.

'Over half of the global total'

“The majority of the world’s cocoa supply originates from this continent; in fact, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana account for over half of the global total between them,​the report added.

Total African production was 3.2Mt in 2013.14, compared with 708,000t from the Americas and 454,000t from Asia and Oceania, it said.

​The European confectionery category is therefore dependent on cocoa imports, with the fluctuating total global supply contributing to price volatility for manufacturers.

The total UK confectionery market will be worth around £6.46bn by 2019, it added.

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