Growth in the US non-chocolate confectionery market is forecast to slow over the next four years, according to a report from market information specialists Packaged Facts.

Although the market for non-chocolate candy increased by more than 7% between 2005 and 2006, growth in 2007 is forecast at a more modest 4%, with smaller annual increases ranging between 2.9% and 4.2% predicted over the coming four years.

According to the Packaged Facts report The US Market for Non-Chocolate Candy, the category will be worth some US$10.6bn by 2011.

Factors contributing to growth in 2006 and 2007 included an increase in alternative and specialist distribution; modest increases in both pounds shipped and prices, with manufacturers passing high commodity prices on to retailers and consumers; and increased options for sugar-free and diet candy.
 
Packaged Facts expects growth in healthier types of confectionery, including single-serve, organic, functional, and fortified candy, will contribute to future growth, as will the increasing buying power of children, and the rise in the 50-69 year-old age bracket, which generally lacks traditional brand loyalty but not the desire to indulge.

"Non-chocolate candy is still driven by indulgence and fun," said Packaged Facts' publisher Tatjana Meerman. "We expect players in the marketplace will be adept at increasing the engagement component of candy and integrating health and wellness concerns into new products for children and adults alike in the near future."