Whether making a pitstop for an on-the-road snack, or chilling in a onesie enjoying the latest horror on Netflix as you munch on popcorn, candy bars and other sweets will no doubt be close at hand. As a child, the much sought-after candy bar treat could be the highlight of the week but even as we outgrew our toys, recess, and naps and matured into hardworking adults, these sweet treats continued to hold a special place in our hearts. And as grownups, we can eat as much candy as we want – with only a slower metabolism to discourage us…
And it seems the same treats we enjoyed as kids are the ones we love as adults, as the candy industry trends towards traditionalism and conservatism. According to the stats, most of the candies we enjoy have been around for an average of at least 50 years with others dating back over 100 years. Hershey bars, for example, can trace their roots back as far as 1900. Very little has changed in the recipes of traditional favourites; the only really significant alterations the world’s favourite chocolates have undergone is having their wrappers and commercials updated. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
There’s much debate over which is the best candy bar out there, with no definitive answer; but examining market trends is one way to get some sort of idea as to what is truly the world’s favourite candy. In the U.S. some of us just cannot get enough of the crispy chocolate of Crunch bars while others prefer the simple pleasures of a plain Hershey’s bar and some just can’t resist the gooey caramel center of Twix bars. Regardless of what candy you enjoy, there is one thing you can count on: candy corporations are getting rich off of your purchases! Based on candyindustry.com’s 2013 global top 100, and data originating from Information Resources Inc., we bring you the world’s top 10 candy corporations – and their most popular candies!
10. Lindt- $2.7 million in annual sales
This Swiss company is best known for its decadent chocolate truffles and delicious candy bars available all over the world. Lindt has been making candy since 1845 and with that level of experience and time under their belt, you know it has to be delicious! Their master chocolatiers put a lot of time and effort into each individual piece of candy and it definitely shows. Their most popular items – white coconut bars and the plain milk chocolate bars -are among their biggest sellers but their assorted candy boxes make great gifts for holidays. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, yearly sales are set to spike for this industry giant.
9. Haribo- $3 million in annual sales
When it comes to gummy chews, Haribo is almost always at the top of everyone’s list. The Golden Bear that adorns all of their packages is definitely making enough to purchase designer red bows with his empire expanding the world over. The company got its start in the 1920’s and with each passing year, it grows in popularity. Although their assorted gummy bears and Fizzy Cola are among the most popular, they produce several other candies that are worth checking out: Sour S’ghetti- we love the name- and TropiFruitti are just some of our favorites.
8. Perfetti van Melle- $3.2 million in annual sales
Perfetti van Melle – everything about the name just oozes decadence and luxury and you can rest assured that their sweet dreams reflect the name! There’s a reason why the company’s motto is “in every corner of the world, at any time of the day, there is always someone choosing a Perfetti van Melle product.” The company’s treats are incredibly popular due to the rich flavors and attention to detail. Mentos, Chupa Chups, and Airheads are some of their better known products, but you might be missing out if you haven’t tried their Alpenliebe and Creamfills!
7. Meiji- $3.4 million in annual sales
Although many Americans have not heard about this Japanese candy production company, their snacks are incredibly popular in the Asia. It’s nearly impossible to find the brightly packaged treats here in the United States- some specialty grocery stores may carry a limited stock- but you can still order their delicious candy online. The company produces a wide variety of treats ranging from chocolate to chewy gummies. Recently, this wealthy company opened a ‘100% chocolate café’ in which customers could sample 50+ chocolates in a wide variety of flavors – made from cacao from countries all over the world. Some of this company’s most popular products include Rich Strawberry, Apollo Strawberry, and the Choco Baby Candy.
6. Ferrero- $5.6 million in annual sales
Ferrero emerged on the candy market in 1982 and since the company’s introduction onto the scene, they’ve become a popular choice amongst chocolate consumers. The Italian company is primarily known for their truffles that feature a whole hazelnut coated in their rich chocolate and hazelnut cream before being sprinkled with crunchy hazelnut pieces and wrapped in a beautiful gold foil. You can find the delicious treats at most stores and if hazelnut truffles are not your thing, you can always opt for: Nutella, dark or white chocolate, and to freshen your breath after you can pop a few Tic Tacs. ‘With this variety, you’re really spoiling us…’
5. Hershey’s- $6.4 million in annual sales
Admit it- you’ve been anticipating this company since you started browsing the list. Hershey’s is a household name, especially so in the Americas, so it should come as no surprise that the chocolate giant landed in the top 5 on our list. Since 1894, they’ve been producing delicious- and affordable- chocolates in a wide variety of flavors. They started with their classic milk chocolate bar before producing Kisses, Cookies n Cream, and their Special Dark. The company also expanded into the theme park industry and introduced Hershey Park: a chocolate themed dream park where couples, individuals, friends, and family can come satisfy both their sweet tooth and their need for adrenaline. No doubt that makes for some seriously hyperactive kids!
4. Nestle- $12.8 million in annual sales
Although their candy may be incredibly sweet, the amount of money they make from their products is even sweeter! Nestle’s headquarters are based in Switzerland, but their popularity stretches world-wide and the company is now household name. Kit Kat, Crunch, and the beloved Butterfinger are among some of their best selling candy bars but the company is a food and beverage powerhouse with popular items sold over a number of sectors.
3. Grupo Bimbo- $14.9 million in annual sales
Grupo Bimbo is a Mexico-based food company. The friendly white bear that adorns the bulk of their bakery products helps to enhance their goods by adding an element of fun. Although this company is primarily known for its pastries and other baked goods, the company does produce a wide variety of delicious candy. Their Alfajor Con Cereales is one of Grupo Bimbo’s most popular confectionary items.
2. Mondelez- $15.4 million in annual sales
Modelez is one of the largest candy corporations in the world. This North American production company is incredibly popular and well-paid and they produce a wide variety of tasty treats ranging from gum to gummy chews to breath mints. In fact, you may well have a package of Certs or Trident in your purse or desk drawer right now. You might also add their Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids to your snack pack – those are the company’s two biggest-selling candies, popular among sugar-manic kiddies.
1. Mars- $16.8 million in annual sales
Although it probably comes as no surprise that Mars is at the top of the list, you may be shocked by the amount of money that this company is raking in each year. Mars produces a wide variety of candy bars and all are best sellers. Their list includes M&M’s, Milky Way, Dove (better known as Galaxy to our readers in Europe, India and the Middle East), Snickers, and their eponymous Mars bar. Chances are, you’ve probably sampled each of these bars at some point, so long-standing and popular are they. Mars was founded in 1911 and since then, it has continued to produce new candy, raise in popularity, and rake in more money with each passing year. The most popular product of Mars’ confectionary collection is M&Ms, with sales topping 400 million between 2012 and 2013.