Trends We Spotted at Sweets & Snacks

Styling and Photography by Laurie Mosco

If you’re looking to uncover the latest in confections and savory snacks, well the Sweets & Snacks Expo is the place. We were happy to be back in Chicago, seeing new and familiar faces around the floor — all while getting a taste of what’s in store for the rest of the year.   And let us say, this year is going to be pretty tasty!

Want all the juicy gossip on what’s the latest must-haves in snacking?  Well you’ve come to the right place.  We sat down with our confectionery buying team and got a debrief on the leading trends in sweets and snacking.  Here’s what they uncovered.

Conscious Snacking

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The focus on better-for-you products has made its way into the snacking realm.  Consumers are more conscious than ever before about what they’re eating and how that fits into their lifestyle.  As a result, dietary claims are an important element in snacking selection.

Some of the most popular claims are those related to sugar.  Many brands were highlighting their low sugar, reduced sugar, and sugar free versions of confectionery favorites — snack bars, too.  Our takeaway – make sure to up your low sugar offerings.

Keto is another trending claim that’s having a moment.  Related to the low sugar claim, those who maintain the Keto lifestyle are looking for low carb snacks.  And Keto is not just relegated to sweet snacks. Its claim encompasses every area of the snack space, from chocolate, to gummies, to snack bars. Even savory snacks like pork rinds are sporting the Keto claim.  To cater to this trend, look for items that highlight their carb and sugar content.  If they have Keto in the name, or are Keto certified, even better!

Little Indulgences Everywhere

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While consumers are looking for better-for-you sweets and snacks, they do understand that need for a little indulgence now and again (New Hope Network).  That’s why s’mores was a popular flavor profile, according to our buyers and the National Confectioners Association (Candy Industry). 

S’mores first experienced a new surge in popularity during the summer of 2020 and hasn’t skipped a beat since (Confectionery News).  We’re seeing the classic combination of chocolate, marshmallow, and graham featured in everything from chocolate bars, to stuffed marshmallows, to snack bars – even s’mores kits. 

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Another trend we’re seeing is the ability to take little indulgences on the go.  That’s why Nassau Candy introduced a packaged line of our popular Clever Candy bulk products.  The inaugural product in that line — Clever Candy Sour Sidekicks. No scooping required here – consumers just pick up some Sour Sidekicks and indulge while on the go. 

Souped-up Seasonal

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Seasonal has grown beyond simple confectionery gifts.  For the holidays, consumers are looking for experiences.  That’s why we’re seeing a surge of confectionery kits, from cocoa bombs, to mug cakes, to gingerbread house kits.  We kick up the “kitting” fun a few notches with our Elf Activity and Gingerbread House Candy Kits, new for the 2022 Christmas Season.

The Elf Activity Kit is geared towards moms and dads, offering all the candy needed for 5 nights of elfish antics. Our Elf kit features fun and mischievous activities like “Santa is Watching,” “Elf Bubble Farts,” and “Reindeer Poop.”

Our Gingerbread House Candy Kit amps up the family holiday favorite – decorating gingerbread houses. Its selection of stunning candy canes, nonpareils, dextrose candies, and gummies offers everything customers need to transform their gingerbread houses from fixer to fabulous. 

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