List Notes: Sales figures are in U.S. dollars for the year 2014. Number of employees and factories can vary over time and these figures are gained from the companies annual reports, web-pages etc and should be used to acquire an overall idea of the size of the companies workforce and installations in general terms. List last updated by Top 5 of Anything March 05, 2016.
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Per capita consumption of confectionery in most developed countries averages almost 11 kg per person. Per capita consumption of chocolate confectionery tends to be higher in northern European countries, while the Scandinavian markets command high per capita rates for sugar confectionery. The global confectionery market was valued at approximately $147 billion USD in 2008, an increase of 3.2% over 2007. In value terms, chocolate confectionery is the largest sector, accounting for almost 60% of total sales. By volume, however, sugar confectionery accounts for the majority of sales, with a share of just over half (51%). The U.S. Retail candy industry generates about $29 billion in sales per year with consumers spending on average $93 USD on confectionery products in 2008. The retail profit margin is about 35% for the confectionery industry. Candy and gum ranked 4th among food categories in December 2009 and is the second largest snack category after salty snacks.
On Feb 2nd 2010, Kraft Foods bought Cadbury PLC for $19.5 billion (USD) effectively forming the world's biggest candy company. The newly created group will own 40 confectionery brands that each have annual sales in excess of $100 million.
Confectionery is broken up into three categories: chocolate, non-chocolate, and chewing gum. Chocolate is by far the largest, with a 55% of the total, while gum holds only a 14% stake but is the fastest-growing segment (a key reason behind chewing gum growth is the tough anti-tobacco stances that many governments around the world are taking. Increasingly unable to smoke indoors or looking for a cigarette alternative, many smokers are taking up chewing gum). Switzerland is the reigning chocolate consumer, where per capita consumption is 25 lb. a year. Britain comes in second, eating 19.4 lb., and Belgium third at 19.1. Lb per year (The U.S., by comparison, has an average consumption of 11.6 lb). The U.S. population as a whole consumes more than 7 billion pounds of confectionery products each year. Only about half of that is chocolate, with other non-chocolate confections accounting for roughly 3.5 billion pounds. The United States is the largest consumer of candy in the world. Consumers in the U.S. spent $8.8 billion on various sweets last year, a 2% increase over 2007 making the United States the largest consumer of candy in the world. Many of the most popular candy bars sold today were developed between the 1890s and 1920 by various candy makers around the country. Rights to many of these candies have been bought and sold many times since they were developed and now are owned by large corporations such as Mars, Hershey Foods, Warner-Lambert, and RJR Nabisco. On average, Americans consume about 25 lb. of candy per capita annually.
In the year 1854 the first packaged box of Whitman's chocolate was produced thus beginning the age of boxed chocolates as we know them today. In 1868 Richard Cadbury introduced the first Valentine's Day box of chocolates. During the Second World War, the U.S. Government commissioned Milton Hershey to create a candy bar to be included in US soldier's rations. The candy bar chosen was the now famous Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar. Nestlé was founded in 1860 by Henri Nestlé, a pharmacist. In 2008 the global giant had approximately 276,000 employees wo. Ferrero SpA is a family owned business which produces chocolate and other confectionery products. The Italian company was founded in 1946 by a confectioner Pietro Ferrero.
Mars, the largest private company on our list, makes seven of the top 20 worldwide confectionery favourites like M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers and the Mars bar. Snack foods and pet care goods (The company has a pet care division and has been feeding pets since 1935.) make up 90% of Mars' total revenue. With products sold in more than 100 countries, the company has offices and manufacturing facilities in over 68 countries worldwide and employs an estimated 70,000 people. In 2008 Mars ranked number 6 of America's top privately held companies.
Top 5 facts sources:
National Confectionery Association. (2010). NCA Confectionery Industry Review. Retrieved Oct 28th, 2010.
Leatherhead Food International. (2006). The Global Confectionery Market - Trends and Innovations. Retrieved Oct 28th, 2010.
Business Insights. (2009). Report: The Top 10 Confectionery Companies. Retrieved Oct 28th, 2010.
Forbes. (2009). America's Largest Private Companies. Retrieved Oct 28th, 2010. Forbes.com
Deprez. E. (2009, June). What Are the World's Most Popular Candies? Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved Oct 28th, 2010.