Sugar no more – how gummies are reinventing themselves
posted on 23 July, 2018 by Mark Lozano
It’s no secret that consumers across the world have become increasingly concerned about the food they consume. In particular, sugar confectionery has been affected by the growing health consciousness and new labelling restrictions. As calls for new sugar limitation guidelines and cleaner/clearer labels are getting louder, the $55.5 billion sugar confectionery sector is feeling the pressure to clean up its ingredients, while still delivering an indulgent experience.
Could this be the end of the gummy bear?
The health & wellness trend shows no signs of slowing down. According to a recent survey by GlobalData, 49% of consumers are actively trying to limit their sugar intake. Given that sugar is the key ingredient in one of the world’s most popular confections, the gummy bear, it must surely be bad news for these little bestsellers and all their gummy companions. But it’s not all doom and gloom! There is plenty to be optimistic about. Sugar confectionery, in any form or shape, is a highly versatile product and recent product launches are already indicating that this sector is carving itself a new niche.
Here are some of the latest trends.
As consumers are growing increasingly wary of the ingredients in their foods, manufacturers have started to adapt their portfolios and are offering more and more products that are made with natural-sourced preservatives, flavours and colours, often from vegetable and fruit sources. As a result, “no sugar” and “free-from” claims have started to appear on many bags of candies to offer this highly discerning group of consumers more natural, healthier, vegetarian and vegan options.
The confectionery sector is known for its high degree of innovation. Sugar confectioneries, given their low price tag, are ideal for manufacturers to test the boundaries with novel, fun and innovative products that allow consumers to apply a “try it once” policy. In particular, sour tastes that combine spicy and sweet flavours appeal to the growing group of experimental consumers who demand bolder and intense flavours. Vegetables are also coming to the fore – and not just as a colouring agent – with new product launches like carrot gummies entering the market.
With a 74.2% share in 2017, “health management” has quickly become one of the top benefits that consumers demand. Nutraceutical gummies are already a popular alternative to regular pill form supplements as they deliver nutrition, taste and convenience in a fun and easy-to-consume format. In the US supplements market, sales of gummy products have grown by more than 25% since 2015. And this growth is not just driven by kids, functional gummies have started to gain broad appeal amongst all age groups. This also includes the sports nutrition segment, where gummies and chewable candies are becoming increasingly popular amongst active consumers looking for new delivery formats for their daily protein boost.
A gummy revolution
The sugar confectionery segment is going through a change at the moment. However, its potential to innovate and reinvent itself means that it’ll easily maintain, if not increase, its share of the global confectionery market.
Contact one of our confectionery experts now to find out how our range of confectionery processing solutions can help you maximise the opportunities this vibrant market is able to offer or visit our new confectionery solutions page to browse all our products.
 GlobalData Consumer Survey, Q3 2016 – Global
 Vitamins Gone Gummy, New York Times (February 2018) – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/well/eat/vitamins-gone-gummy.html