With a growing interest in healthier candy options, low sugar candy company SmartSweets is taking a deep dive into consumer preferences and behaviors surrounding candy consumption. A recently-conducted survey highlights key behavior insights, delving into health vs. taste considerations, various eating rituals and occasions, spontaneous purchasing habits and more. 

Here are some of the highlights from that survey:

Consumer Behavior Insights

Consumers prefer to eat their favorite color gummy last, indicating a sense of anticipation and enjoyment. 57.7% of respondents reported saving their favorite color for last, savoring the moment of indulgence.

Preference for Better-for-You Options

An impressive 98.4% of respondents reported that if there was a better-for-you candy that tasted as good as traditional candy, they would make the switch. This overwhelming response reflects a growing interest in healthier alternatives among consumers.

Additionally, 95.5% of respondents have already tried better-for-you-candy, suggesting a significant existing market for such products.

Health vs. Taste Considerations

Highlighting the importance of taste over health considerations when buying candy, the survey revealed that 89.2% of respondents indicated that sugar content matters to them when selecting candy, signaling a growing awareness of nutritional content.

Eating Rituals and Occasions

There were various ways consumers enjoy their candy, from eating them one by one to thoughtfully pairing flavors or eating them by the handful, reflecting diverse consumption habits.

The survey highlighted that consumers tend to eat gummy candy for a variety of occasions, including as a snack (64.6%), while watching movies or TV (63.9%), and during holidays like Halloween (69.8%) and Easter (62.3%).

Emotional Connection to Candy

Consumers have a deep emotional connection to candy, with 46.9% reporting that their candy consumption is sometimes tied to emotions such as stress, happiness, boredom, and sadness.

Notably, candy is often consumed during celebratory moments (32.8%) or to boost mood (38.3%).

Spontaneous Purchasing Habits

Discussing the prevalence of spontaneous candy purchases among consumers, the survey found that 66.8% of respondents reported that buying candy is a spontaneous decision.

Additionally, 81.5% of respondents store gummy candy in their pantry for easy access, highlighting the convenience factor in satisfying cravings.

Unique Preferences and Cravings

Highlighting unique preferences, 55.3% of respondents admitted to purchasing gummy candy specifically because of its unique shape or design, even if they were unfamiliar with the flavor.

Additionally, the survey revealed that candy preferences may be influenced by factors such as zodiac signs and menstrual cycles, with 61.1% of respondents experiencing specific candy cravings related to their menstrual cycle.