Gummy Candy Trends for 2024
The gummy candy market in 2023 witnessed a remarkable evolution, driven by innovation in flavors, textures, and health-focused alternatives. Insights about 2024 gummy candy trends from from industry leaders like Susan Hallak of Candy Pros, Dana Rodeo of Nassau Candy, and Courtney Le Drew from Cargill, along with data from various market analysis reports, provided a detailed perspective on the state and future direction of this dynamic segment. Health and Wellness Trends
Plant-Based and Vegan Options
The rise in consumer health consciousness led to an increase in plant-based and vegan gummy candies. Traditional pectin-based gummies, while vegan, often lack the desired bounce and chewiness that gelatin provides. Candy Pros is addressing this gap by developing a vegan product that closely mimics the chew of gelatin gummies. Susan Hallak of Candy Pros explains, "Consumers are increasingly looking for 'better for you' products, and we understand the appeal of vegan options. However, we also recognize that the texture and mouthfeel of traditional gelatin gummies set a high standard. That's why our latest innovation for 2024, a new vegan gummy offering, is designed to revolutionize the market, offering a texture astonishingly close to traditional gelatin gummies."
Embracing Nature: The Rise of Natural Flavors
The confectionery landscape is undergoing a transformative shift towards natural ingredients, a change driven by evolving consumer preferences and growing health consciousness. Susan Hallak of Candy Pros encapsulates this trend, stating, "As consumer preferences evolve, there's a notable shift towards natural choices in the confectionery market. At Candy Pros, we're responding to this trend by focusing on natural flavors and colors in our products." This movement towards natural ingredients is a response not only to consumer demand but also reflects a deeper commitment to healthier, more authentic taste experiences.
The shift is further underscored by market research insights from Cargill, which revealed a strong consumer response to 'Natural' labeling on packaging. This response indicates a broader trend where consumers are increasingly wary of artificial additives, particularly food dyes like Red Dye 40, known for its potential health concerns. The push for natural alternatives is not just a fad but a conscious choice by informed consumers seeking products free from synthetic dyes and flavors. By embracing natural flavors and colors, companies like Candy Pros are not only aligning with current market trends but are also setting a precedent for a future where the goodness of nature is at the forefront of candy production. This approach is a testament to the industry's adaptability and responsiveness to the needs and well-being of its consumers.
Reduced Sugar and Better-For-You Gummies
There was a growing demand for gummies with reduced or no added sugar, catering to health-conscious consumers. Companies experimented with high-intensity sweeteners like Stevia and bulking agents to maintain the desired sweetness and texture.
Flavor and Texture Innovations
Seasonal and Limited-Edition Flavors
Seasonal flavors like apple harvest in fall or lemonade in summer gained popularity, offering consumers a variety of taste experiences throughout the year.
The gummy segment explored new textures, including harder textures, liquid centers, dual textures combining crunchy and soft aspects, and even aerated or fluffy textures in products like Starburst Airs.
Gummies as Functional and Nutritional Supplements
The expansion of gummies into the supplement market marked a significant shift, providing consumers with a palatable alternative to traditional capsules and pills. This trend catered to a growing segment seeking functional benefits from their confections.
Evolving Product Forms and Novel Experiences
Innovative Shapes and Sizes
Nassau Candy's foray into 3D gummies and oversized shapes like giant gummy bears on sticks demonstrated the trend towards novelty and diversity in product forms.
Gummies were designed to offer multi-sensorial experiences combining multiple flavors and textures, appealing to a broader consumer base seeking unique eating experiences.
Packaging and Presentation Innovations
Gummies as Gifts
Nassau Candy’s focus on packaging gummies with gift cards and unique containers positioned them as ideal gifts, expanding their market reach.
Clever Candy Packaging
Nassau Candy's 'Clever Candy' line addressed market gaps by offering specialty bulk candies in innovative packaging, highlighting the importance of presentation in attracting consumers.
Market Growth and Dynamics
Market Size and Leading Brands
The gummy market continued to grow, with companies like Mars Wrigley and Ferrara leading the segment. Innovative product launches and flavor extensions, such as Ferrara's Nerds Gummy Clusters, contributed to this growth.
Textural Innovations Driving Growth
Companies focused on textural innovations, such as Ferrara's Sour Duo Crawlers with dual textures, to differentiate their products in the market.
Consumer Preferences and Market Research
Research indicated that consumers increasingly sought gummies with natural sweetener claims and diverse textures. Understanding these preferences was crucial for companies to tailor their products to market demands.
Challenges and Considerations
Technical Aspects of Gummy Formulation
Creating reduced sugar gummies involved balancing sweetness, bulk, and maintaining the desired texture, posing a significant challenge in product development.
Strategic Adaptation to Market Trends
Companies needed to adapt to long-term market trends while considering consumer health concerns and preferences for novelty and variety.
The gummy candy market in 2023 was characterized by its adaptability and innovation. In 2024, as companies continue to explore new flavors, textures, health-focused alternatives, and creative packaging, the gummy segment is poised for continued growth and diversification. These trends reflect a market responsive to evolving consumer preferences, health consciousness, and the pursuit of unique sensory experiences.