For the last 20 years, China has changed a lot. Whether it’s economically, ideologically or about its tastes, the country has been experiencing very fast growth. China is evolving into a consumer society and new products, including candy & confectionery, are getting more and more present among Chinese daily consumption.

The rising average income and constant exposure to western and international cultures and cuisines are influencing the confectionery goods and its development within supermarkets.

Candy and confectionery market in sum up:

  • Market estimated to $21.21 billion in 2018
  • Research estimate that China will see a compound annual growth rate of 5.1% between until 2020
  • China is soon to become the second-largest confectionery market in the world, with an expected volume of 1.4 billion kilograms

Candy consumption in China:

  • The average per capita consumption is around 5.2kg in 2019, meaning a great increase in potential
  • There are currently 593 candy enterprises in China
  • 42 companies got a year on year growth rate of 10.63%
  • Total revenue in 2019: $52,343 million

Market leaders:

  • Mars
  • Nestle
  • Perfetti Van Melle Confectionery
  • The Hershey Group
  • Ferrero

New trends for candies

  • Health-care oriented candy
  • Low-sugar oriented candy
  • Fun-oriented candy
  • Ecotype candy

In China, among confectionery products priority is given to high-end indulgences with quality ingredients and reduced sugar. Consumers are mostly seeking confectionery products with better ingredients, superior taste, and attractive packaging.

Indeed, keep in mind that China is another culture, and consumers are increasingly educated on health and nutrition. As a consequence, consumer’s behavior is reflecting on that. They are running away from artificial ingredients, but looking instead for high-quality premium products.

Health concerns have contributed to the robust growth of functional candy such as throat-shooting or vitamin C candies.

Demographic fact:

Female consumers that looked for indulgent treats have contributed to China’s confectionery market growth. A report highlighted that Chinese women accounted for 30.4 billion consumption occasions in 2015, compared to 28.7 billion by men.

Confectionery as a all:

Among the three main confectionery categories, sugar confectionery has recently been the most popular, while representing 67% of total confectionery in 2016. Chocolate confectionery represented 18% while the gum category represented approximately 15%.

Although sugar products are expected to continue leading the confectionery market in China, it’s anticipated that chocolate products will grow in value at a compound annual growth rate of 7% from 2017 to 2021.


How to sell candies in China?

Importance of your Brand image

For a long time, China has been suffering from its “low-quality product” reputation, but also as a counterfeit market. But from now, the time has passed and things have changed. They’re trying hard to get rid of this reputation, at a point that whether they’re dealing with local or international companies, a trust relationship will have to be built. Without trust, no business.

Why is trust so important?

In the past, fake and harmful products got commercialized. And more than losing money, some people’s health got jeopardize because of the greediness of some businessman. Also, consumers don’t want to be cheated anymore. They don’t want to buy an appealing product and realize later on that the quality is very bad, or the product itself is harmful.

In China, branding is everything. People are ready to buy ten times the price of a product for a branded one, compared to a non-branded product.


Also, before buying anything or establishing any kind of business relationship, Chinese people are now checking online information about the company/product they may deal with. They’ll be looking for the company info to be sure the brand is real, but also online reviews and comments to know what the previous consumers thought about your product.


Being visible and developing a strong reputation is a must-do in China.


China got a close communication system. They do not have Google, Facebook, Instagram, and other Western social media.


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