Sweets take on tough year

As ‘Forrest Gump’ said, “life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”. Throw in a global pandemic and rolling lockdowns, and the idiom’s accuracy resonates. So, how did confectionery manufacturers and brands surf the wave of challenges and opportunities that was 2021?

South Australian confectioner Robern Menz faced many of the common challenges for business throughout the year and is grateful to have managed growth along the way

“It’s evident that Australians have been responding to the Covid-19 pandemic with comfort food and nostalgic, patriotic brands,” says Robern Menz Marketing Manager Polly Love.

“We’re very fortunate to have consumers who love supporting local and are genuinely invested in seeing their favourite Aussie brands succeed and survive through tough times.

The Rocky Road House is another Australian made and owned confectionery business that achieved growth in the 2021. Executive Manager Danielle Proctor attributes the success to a trend towards chocolate.

“While the country has been in lockdown for the best part of 2021, we’ve seen our sales growth steadily increase from last year, with 70 per cent of this in our chocolate product ranges,” she says. “This indicates that confectionery, and in particular chocolate, is the true comfort food, and why it’s so popular.

“Chocolate has such an emotional connection, and indulging in some form of it really seems to satisfy our sweet tooth.”

Third-generation family-owned Australian business Grocery Corp is another player proud to have weathered significant market headwinds over the past 12 months.

Brand Manager Guy Bennett says the business has continued to grow and strengthen its family of globally acclaimed brands.

“The additions of Ferrara brands Nerds and Gobstopper, Splenda artificial sweetener and Zertus brands Nomo Free From Chocolate and Baileys Chocolate have seen the business grow revenue and head count by 50 per cent,” he says.

For the latest on the confectionery category, check out the November-December issue of Convenience World.

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