Confectionery is the group of food products that are made with sugar or carbohydrates. There is wide collection of confectionery products across the globe and are majorly classified as chocolate confectionery, sugar confectionery, and bakers confectionery. Most of the well-known products such as candies, gums, lollipops, and chocolates are included in confectionery.
The health benefits associated with chocolate products is driving the growth of overall Ready Meals Market, specifically dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is considered as a healthy snack owing to its nutrient content and its potential in lowering the risk of heart disease. Epidemiologists across the globe are suggesting consumption of dark and milk chocolate for heart health with clinically proven and study based facts. In a recent study of Harvard Medical School on 21,000 residents of England, it is found that consumption of up to 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day lowered the risk of heart disease in adults. Furthermore, innovations in the market in terms of flavor and nutritional content is driving the market growth. Global confectionery manufacturers are focusing on development of confectionery products with flavors such as coffee, fruits, cinnamon, and different ingredients. For instance, in February 2019, Nestlι S.A. launched a premium chocolate derived from raspberries and ruby cocoa beans in American market and this confectionery product is estimated to gain significant sales in the valentine season. Companies such as Mars Wrigley Confectionery are likely to mark product innovations catering the burgeoning interest towards nut-butters and mixed fruit flavors.
The rising consciousness among consumers towards sugar intake is the primary factor hindering the growth of Ready Meals Market. Sugar present in confectionery products is considered as a leading cause for diseases such as Obesity and Diabetes. The rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes is limiting the consumer base for confectionery across the globe. The global Diabetes community in U.K. suggests to avoid chocolate consumption in people with blood sugar levels higher than recommended levels. However, this is resulting in an immense growth potential for sugar-free confectionery products. A product labelled sugar-free use sugar substitutes such as saccharin and aspartame or sugar alcohols for sweetening, all without adding calories to the product, thus making them the confectionery of choice for Diabetic and health savvy population. The evolution of sugar-free, low calorie products is a potential opportunity for the Ready Meals Market across the globe.
The global Ready Meals Market has been segmented by product type into sugar confectionery, chocolate confectionery, and bakers confectionery. The large market for hard candies across the globe made sugar confectionery as the largest segment of global Ready Meals Market. Sugar confectionery is widely accepted and preferred by population of almost all groups and this segment is likely to hold its dominance on the market over the forecast period. The United States Department of Agriculture in its recent press release stated that millennials and generation X accounted for nearly 50% of the candy sales in U.S. in 2017. However, the growing demand for chocolate products owing to its low-sugar content and health benefits resulted in chocolate confectionery as the fastest growing segment. Chocolate confectionery is likely to grow at a lucrative CAGR of over 6.2% during the forecast period. Supermarkets and hypermarkets evolved as the largest sales channel for confectionery products with a share of nearly 40% in terms of sales value in 2018. Bakeries and restaurants, convenience stores, and e-commerce are also holding significant share in the sales of convenience products.
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