McLEAN, Va. -- Fueled by increased per capita consumption, confectionery sales are growing this year, with nonchocolate items leading the way, according to the National Confectioners Association here.
According to figures the NCA obtained from Information Resources Inc., Chicago, retail confection sales in June grew by 2%. Mass merchandisers led the way with a 6.2% increase, followed by supermarkets with a 2.4% increase. Drug stores showed a 3.8% decline during the four-week period, which ended June 25.
During the normally slow July period, supermarket sales of candy items were up 0.5%, the NCA reported.
Meanwhile, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, in 1996 per capita consumption of confectionery products increased to 26.2 pounds, from 25.7 pounds in 1995.
According to Commerce Department figures, a record 6.79 billion pounds of confections were shipped, up 3.4% from 6.57 billion pounds in 1995.
The consumption of nonchocolate confections increased 5.4% to 3.2 billion pounds, while chocolate confections saw a 2% rise to 3.1 billion pounds during the same period.