Candy Trends: European Market Overview

Explore the latest candy and gummy trends, including product launches in Europe

July 2, 2024 – In Europe, gummies and candies are preferred for their diverse flavors and textures, offering consumers indulgent treats. Innova’s 360 research into European candy trends allows for identification of key insights into market size, new product launches, flavors, and claims, as well as what may develop in the future.

Product Launch Candy Trends

Candy trends show that Europe represents the most launches in global confectionery over the last year, representing 41% of the global share of launches. However, Europe is the second leading market for gummies and candy launches, after Asia Pacific.

Over the past five years, there has been a 4% rise in gummy and candy launches in Europe. Vegan options, clean label claims, new year edition assorted fruit-flavored pastes, and products formulated with a variety of bases are driving innovation. This rising trend in candy indicates a rising consumer interest in diverse confectionery experiences across the region.

Leading Candy Markets in Europe

Gummies and jellies are the top subcategory, followed by other sugar confectionary, licorice, toffee and fudge, marshmallow, hard candy, and mixed assortments in Europe. The top five markets for gummies and candies in Europe are Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Notably, Spain records the highest growth rate at 22% CAGR in launches between 2021 and 2023, driven by new products featuring nuts, bakery-inspired flavors, and indulgent options.

Mixed Assortment Trends

The mixed assortments subcategory’s annual growth rate ranks first in the cluster in Europe. Candy trends research displays a 24% rise in launches over the past five years. Seasonal editions, such as Halloween and Christmas ranges, have notably boosted new product launches. This subcategory trend in candy highlights the consumer demand for diverse and seasonally themed confectionery assortments, driving innovation and market growth.

Gummies and Jelly Insights

Candy trends display a consistent growth in the gummies and jellies subcategory over the past five years. This growth is fueled by seasonal and Christmas editions, as well as innovative flavors like licorice, ginger, cinnamon, and popular citrus blends in 2023. Haribo is the top company for gummies and jelly launches with its cola flavored options, assortment of gummies with fruit flavors, and jellies/foam jellies in various appealing shapes.

Candy Trends: Fruit Flavored Snacks

Fruit-flavored snacks have shown consistent annual growth of 13% launches over the past five years, driven by innovations such as fiber-rich options, assorted fruit pastes, and soft fruit bites featuring berries in various formats over the past year. Coop Sweden and Functional Biofruit are the leading companies in new product launches in this subcategory. The emphasis on organic offerings like raspberry and strawberry snacks, along with pure fruit cubes like apple, orange, and blueberry, highlights the consumer preference for healthier and natural snack choices.

Candy Trends

Licorice Trends

In 2023, there was a slight increase in licorice new product launches, driven by indulgent and premium offerings like licorice coated with Belgian chocolate and varieties featuring refreshing mint and menthol flavors. Cloetta is the market leader, with 16% of licorice product launches. Hard sweet licorice candies in different flavors, soft and sweet licorice mixes, and salty options have pushed the company’s product launch trends in candy subcategory.

Other Sugar Confectionery

Over the past five years, new product launches in the other sugar confectionery subcategory have increased, driven by innovations in texture variety such as chewy, creamy, crunchy, and crispy options. There’s also a growing popularity of alcohol-infused treats and halva featuring nuts, reflecting evolving consumer preferences.

Lidl is the leading company for launches with its brands Dor and Deluxe in 2023. Crunchy cookie chocolate nougat and nougat formulated with ingredients imparting flavors have boosted the company’s launches.

Claims and Positioning in Candy Trends

Health is a significant driver of trends in candy, with companies targeting claims that emphasize healthy consumption to attract consumers. The top 5 positionings are children (5–12 years), gluten free, vegan, no additives or preservatives, and vegetarian. This focus has led to a rise in health-related positioning, highlighting lactose-free, no trans-fat and organic options. Additionally, halal, seasonal (Christmas and others), no added sugar, indulgent and premium claims are growing strongly in the space.

Top Flavors in Candy Trends

Fruit, strawberry, lemon, milk chocolate, and orange are the top 5 flavors in the European candy market. The flavor landscape of the candy market is evolving, with fruit emerging as the predominant flavor among the top 5. Pistachio, watermelon, and blueberry flavors are rising due to consumers desires for variety and experimentation.

The candy trends research highlights the diverse flavor preferences of the regions. In the UK, there is a growing interest in rainbows and red apples. The Netherlands is embracing flavors like licorice and green apple. Meanwhile, France and Germany are exploring dark chocolate and vanilla. In Spain, consumers are inclined towards almond, hazelnut, and dark chocolate flavors. These diverse flavor profiles reflect demand for varied tastes in the European candy market.

What’s Next in the Candy Trends in Europe?

The candy market is evolving rapidly, with Spain leading in new product development for gummies and candies. This presents abundant opportunities for companies to innovate and expand their offerings. Seasonal launches are the key driver for candies and gummies, including Christmas, and limited-edition offerings are becoming increasingly popular. Companies may capitalize on this trend by launching festive candies and gummies with attractive packaging featuring cartoon characters.

Consumer preferences for natural sucrose alternatives, health benefits, and unique flavors are driving the market toward growth and diversification in Europe. Companies are likely to develop bakery-inspired and cross-category flavor innovations with health-oriented claims, reflecting a shift toward more conscious consumption habits. Thus, future product innovations will likely provide consumers with a variety of options, enriching their experience of indulgence and flavorful candies and gummies.


This article is based on our report, “Overview of Gummies & Candies in Europe.” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
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