Confectionery Products Manufacturing M&A

Selling a Confectionery Products Company 

Business owners who want to sell a confectionery products company often find the process intimidating. But at Morgan & Westfield, it’s second nature. We’re a leading M&A firm advising in the food and beverage industry. We can walk you through the process from planning to exit and help you work through the all-important negotiations with buyers. We prepare you ahead of time for every eventuality, and we guide you through the ups and downs. Our focus is on lower middle-market companies with $1 million to $10 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), and annual revenues between $5 million and $100 million.

M&A Advisors to the Confectionery Products Industry 

Our M&A advisors are experts. Whatever challenges you may face in selling your confectionery business, our team will have seen them before. We offer a free consultation, and there’s no further obligation on your part. We can guide you on every stage of the process – from first steps in positioning your business in the best light – right through to negotiating the purchase agreement and to the closing. 

Confectionery Product Manufacturing Company Multiples

As you explore your options for selling your business, you will no doubt have questions. Every business owner does. What’s the value of my business? What multiple can I expect? Can I increase this, and how? What do I need to do, and when? Online searches may lead you to different answers to the same questions. Or, they might not be specific to your situation. Ideally, you need an outside professional assessment and definitive answers for your circumstances. We can help you focus on the right steps at the right time.

Types of Businesses We Sell and Value 

  • Craft Confectionery Manufacturers
  • Candy Bar Manufacturers
  • Candy Shops and Retailers
  • Caramel Producers and Manufacturers
  • Chocolate-Coated Confectionery Manufacturers
  • Chocolatiers
  • Commercial Sweeteners Manufacturers
  • Confectionery Coating and Topping Manufacturers
  • Confectionery Distributors
  • Confectionery Flavoring and Extract Manufacturers
  • Confectionery Ingredients Manufacturers
  • Confectionery Manufacturers
  • Confectionery Packaging Manufacturers
  • Confectionery Wholesalers
  • Dairy-Free Chocolate Manufacturers
  • Fudge Manufacturers
  • Gummy Candy Manufacturers
  • Hard Candy Manufacturers
  • Ice Cream Manufacturers
  • Jelly Bean Manufacturers
  • Licorice Manufacturers
  • Lollipop Manufacturers
  • Low-Sugar Sweets Manufacturers
  • Marshmallow Manufacturers
  • Nougat Manufacturers
  • Novelty Confectionery Manufacturers (e.g., shaped candies, character-themed candies)
  • Online Confectionery Retailers
  • Organic and Natural Confectionery Manufacturers
  • Specialty Confectionery Manufacturers
  • Specialty Dietary Confectionery Manufacturers
  • Sugar Manufacturers
  • Sugar-Free Confectionery Manufacturers
  • Taffy Manufacturers
  • Vegan Chocolate Manufacturers

Overview of the Confectionery Product Industry

The confectionery product industry involves the production, distribution, and sale of sweet treats and confections. Chocolate, non-chocolate, and chewing gum are the main categories, and almost 60% of all confectionery is chocolate. It is a multibillion-dollar industry, and the top five companies are Kraft Foods/Cadbury; Mars, Incorporated; Nestlé SA; the Ferrero Group; and Hershey. Despite economic conditions, the industry continues to grow each year. It employs more than 500,000 people worldwide and produces roughly 7 billion pounds, or 3.2 billion kg, of products each year. 

How We Got Here – A Brief History

  • 1765 – Chocolate Factory Established: Dr. James Baker and John Hannon established the Baker Chocolate Company in the Dorchester section of Boston, Massachusetts. It became the largest manufacturer of chocolate in 19th-century America.
  • 1848 – Chewing Gum Created: John Curtis created chewing gum from tree sap. He gave it a brand name by calling it “The State of Maine Spruce Gum.”
  • 1880 – Candy Corn Invented: George Renniger of the Wunderle Candy Company invented candy corn. The company no longer exists, but candy companies in the United States make over 35 million pounds of candy corn every year. People recognize National Candy Corn Day on October 30, the day before Halloween.
  • 1896 – Tootsie Roll Created: Leo Hirshfield invented the Tootsie Roll, a chewy, chocolate candy, naming it after his five-year-old daughter Clara, nicknamed Tootsie. Today, Tootsie Roll Industries is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange, and the original company still makes the candies.
  • 1900s – Chocolate Mass Produced: Chocolate was a luxury in the early 1900s, and the “fancy boxes” (like today’s selection boxes) produced by companies like Cadbury’s cost as much as a working-class family’s weekly food budget. As time went on, mass production brought chocolate to a wider customer base. By the 1930s, bars such as Flake, Aero, and Kit-Kat were regular sights in sweet shops and affordable to working people and their families.
  • 1900 – Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Introduced: The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar was introduced, becoming an iconic candy bar loved by many.
  • 1906 – Pure Food and Drug Act Enacted: The Pure Food and Drug Act was enacted in the United States to prevent the sale of adulterated or misbranded foods, including confectionery. This legislation laid the foundation for future regulations in the food industry.
  • 1912 – Non-Melting Candy Invented: Clarence Crane invented a non-melting candy alternative to chocolate. The alternative was called “Life Savers” with the intent to be sold as a summer candy. The first and original flavor was “pep-o-mint.” Now, there are 40 additional flavors.
  • 1912 – Goo Goo Cluster Introduced: The Goo Goo Cluster was introduced as the first combination candy bar with multiple ingredients.
  • 1923 – Milky Way Launched: Milky Way, a popular candy bar featuring nougat, caramel, and milk chocolate, was launched.
  • 1930 – Snickers Candy Bar Debuted: Snickers, another beloved candy bar with nougat, caramel, and peanuts covered in chocolate, made its debut.
  • 1938 – Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act Passed: The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was passed in the United States, establishing stricter regulations for food products, including confectionery. It required manufacturers to label ingredients accurately and ensure product safety.
  • 1941 – M&M’s Introduced: M&M’s, the famous candy-coated chocolates, were introduced and became a classic treat.
  • 1947 – Bazooka Bubble Gum Introduced: Bazooka Bubble Gum, known for its iconic packaging and comic strips, was first introduced and sold.
  • 1953 – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Became Available: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter, became available for enjoyment.
  • 1967 – Twix Candy Bar Invented: Twix was invented in 1967 by Forrest Mars and the Mars Limited company.
  • 1973 – European Union Directive Implemented: The European Union implemented Directive 73/241/EEC, establishing standards for chocolate products across member states. The directive defined the minimum cocoa content for chocolate and set labeling requirements.
  • 1974 – Skittles Introduced: Skittles, the rainbow-colored, fruit-flavored candies, were first introduced.
  • 1983 – Nerds Candy Launched: Nerds is an American candy launched in 1983 by the Sunmark Corporation under the brand name Willy Wonka Candy Company.
  • 1992 – M&M’s Minis Introduced: M&M’s Minis were introduced, quickly gained popularity, and became a staple in the confectionery industry, offering a new and fun experience for candy lovers.
  • 2000 – Sour Patch Kids Popularized: The iconic candy brand Sour Patch Kids gained popularity for its sour then sweet flavor profile.
  • 2001 – Kinder Joy Launched: Kinder Joy, the egg-shaped treat with a combination of chocolate and a surprise toy, was launched. 
  • 2006 – Trans Fat Nutrition Labels Required: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented a rule requiring manufacturers to list trans fat on nutrition labels. Companies can claim their food has zero grams of trans fat if it contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. This rule impacted the confectionery industry because many products contained partially hydrogenated oils, a source of trans fats. 
  • 2011 – Provision of Food Information Introduced: The European Union introduced Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011, requiring clearer, more comprehensive labeling of ingredients and allergens on food product labels, including confectionery.
  • 2018 – New Nutrition Facts Label for Packaged Food Implemented: The FDA implemented a new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods, including confectionery, in the United States. The updated label provided more detailed information on serving sizes, added sugars, and nutrient content. 
  • 2021: Health-Conscious Options Rose: As consumer preferences shifted toward healthier choices, the confectionery industry responded by introducing healthier alternatives. Many companies focused on reducing sugar content, using natural ingredients, and offering portion-controlled options to cater to health-conscious consumers.

Trends That May Affect M&A Activity

The following is a list of trends that can affect future M&A activity in the confectionery industry:

  • Ethical and Socially Responsible Practices: Consumers are increasingly concerned about the ethical and social responsibility of the brands they support. The confectionery industry is responding by adopting fair-trade practices, supporting sustainable sourcing of ingredients, and promoting social initiatives to create a positive impact.
  • Functional Confectionery: The confectionery industry has seen a rise in fortified chocolate, gums, and other products that serve as carriers of functional ingredients. This trend allows companies to differentiate themselves from competitors by addressing certain health aspects. Multivitamin-fortified gummies, for example, promote children’s health, while chocolate is often positioned as an energy booster with antioxidants. These functional confectionery offerings provide enjoyable indulgence while offering potential health benefits, catering to the growing demand for products that combine pleasure and wellness.
  • Personalization and Customization: Customization and personalization are becoming more prevalent in the confectionery industry. Brands are offering options for personalized packaging, customizable flavors, and interactive experiences, allowing consumers to create their own unique confectionery products.
  • Snackable and On-the-Go Formats: Convenience and portability play pivotal roles in shaping trends within the confectionery industry. The demand for snackable formats such as bite-sized candies, single-serve packaging, and on-the-go options continues to rise, driven by the needs of busy lifestyles. These convenient confectionery choices provide consumers with a quick and indulgent treat that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere. 
  • Snacks High in Nutritional Value: In response to the desire for balanced nutrition, consumers are seeking nutrient-dense snacks to complement their wholesome meals. Before they buy, consumers consider flavors, ingredients, and calorie levels, aiming for snacks that align with their health and dietary preferences. With regional variations in sweet snacks reflecting local tastes and traditions, cultural influences can shape flavor profiles. As consumers prioritize both taste and nutrition, the confectionery industry continues to adapt to these evolving preferences.
  • Sugar-free Options: Sugar-free confectionery has a growing appeal among the health conscious and is common across the market. Both sugar-free boiled sweets and sugar-free chewing gums, for example, are popular. Their health benefits include enhanced well-being, and there is growing demand for lozenges to soothe a sore throat. 
  • Sugar Substitutes: With a rise in regulations targeting sugary foods and beverages, companies often consider creating healthier products. Producers’ main goals are to reduce sugar in sweetened food and beverages while improving their offerings and operating within the new rules. Some producers use plant-based ingredients as a natural alternative to refined sugar. Using monk fruit extract, for example, is a popular way to limit sugar content in food.
  • Super Candy: Candy is traditionally seen as an indulgence rather than a healthy treat. But, when fortified with nutrients like vitamins, it can offer health benefits. Gummies, in particular, are well suited for the health and wellness segment as they can easily overcome any color or flavor concerns. “Super candy” is becoming popular worldwide, with a growing market for functional or fortified confectionery. Latin America is leading this trend, with a notable portion of health and wellness confectionery being positioned as functional/fortified.
Summary of Acquisitions
Target Industry (Industry > Niche)Target Target LocationBuyer Industry BuyerBuyer LocationDatePurchase Price
Chocolatier > Luxury British ChocolatesRococo ChocolatesUKChocolatierPrestat GroupUKJun 2022Undisclosed
Commercial Sweeteners > Honey, SweetenersNatural American FoodsUSAPrivate EquityBlue Road ManagementUSAApr 2021Undisclosed
Confectionery > Biscuits, ChocolatesBambiSerbiaBeveragesCoca‑Cola HBCSwitzerlandFeb 2019€260 Million ($294 Million)
Confectionery > Ice Cream, Shortcakes, Cream PiesWells EnterprisesUSAConfectionery, Branded ChocolateFerreroItalyDec 2022Undisclosed
Food Processing > Cookies and Fruit SnacksKellogg Company (Cookie and Fruit Snacks)USAConfectionery, Branded ChocolateFerreroItalyJul 2019$1.3 Billion
Frozen Products > Ice Cream, SorbetPierre’s Ice CreamUSADairy ProductsOhio ProcessorsUSAApr 2022Undisclosed
Frozen Treats > Ice Cream, CheesecakeDippin’ DotsUSASnacksJ&J Snack FoodsUSAMay 2022$222 Million
Snack Foods > Nuts, Snacks, ChocolatesSecond Nature BrandsUSAPrivate EquityCapVest PartnersUKApr 2022Undisclosed
Sports Nutrition > Protein BarsOne BrandsUSAChocolate ManufacturerHershey’sUSASep 2019$325 Million

Prestat Group Acquired Rococo Chocolates (Chocolates)

  • Date: June 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed 
  • Target: Rococo Chocolates – Makers of luxury British chocolates for over 35 years, showcasing the best of British creativity and craft using only the best and most ethically sourced ingredients. 
  • Location: London, United Kingdom
  • Buyer: Prestat Group Ltd. – Prestat Group Ltd. – One of London’s oldest chocolate shops. It operates in the cocoa and chocolate confectionery manufacturing sector.
  • Purpose: CEO Michaela Illy said: “The Rococo brand has great momentum and last year achieved record sales of nearly £4 million, having grown by more than 30% over the last two years. The business’s exciting new product range and its strong team under the leadership of my predecessor Rupert Morley has driven strong growth in both retail and online channels. The acquisition combines two of the most renowned and established British Chocolate brands with a shared commitment to product quality and creates deep synergies for the group.”
  • Details: The London-based premium chocolatier is recognized for the refinement of its chocolates and its design-led packaging, while Prestat is a heritage premium chocolate producer, also based in London.

Blue Road Management L.P Acquired Natural American Foods Inc. (Commercial Sweeteners)

  • Date: April 2021
  • Price: Undisclosed 
  • Target: Natural American Foods Inc. (Sweet Harvest) – Produces a full range of commercial sweeteners and honey for food manufacturers and foodservice customers.
  • Location: Michigan, United States
  • Buyer: Blue Road Management L.P. – An independent private equity firm that acquires and develops agricultural-focused businesses.
  • Seller: Peak Rock Capital – A leading middle-market private investment firm headquartered in Austin, TX, with an office in London.
  • Purpose: “We’re excited to join the Blue Road portfolio of companies,” said Ken Stickevers, CEO of Sweet Harvest. He added, “Blue Road has deep expertise in natural foods and agricultural markets, and we look forward to collaborating with their team to drive growth and innovation in the natural sweeteners category.”
  • Details: Moelis & Company LLC acted as financial advisor to Sweet Harvest on the transaction.

Coca‑Cola HBC Acquired Bambi (Confectionery)

  • Date: February 2019
  • Price: €260 Million ($294 Million)
  • Target: Bambi A.D. – A leading Serbian confectionery company and a food manufacturer based in Požarevac, Serbia. It offers a popular biscuit called Plazma, also known as Lane outside of former Yugoslavia.
  • Location: Požarevac, Serbia
  • Buyer: Coca‑Cola HBC – Headquartered in Switzerland, also known as the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company or Coca-Cola Hellenic. In terms of volume, it is the world’s third-largest Coca-Cola anchor bottler, with sales of over two billion unit cases. 
  • Purpose: The acquisition adds market-leading major brands in a relevant, adjacent category to the Coca‑Cola HBC portfolio in Serbia and the Western Balkans, which are among its fastest-growing territories. In addition, Bambi offers opportunities for revenue synergies through cross-promotion and complementary innovation and cost efficiencies. Bambi also brings a strong distribution network and product portfolio in strategically important channels such as traditional retail, hotels, restaurants, and catering.
  • Details: Swiss bottling business Coca‑Cola HBC enhanced its portfolio with a €260 million acquisition deal for Bambi, a leading Serbian confectionery company. The move was achieved with investment funds from Mid Europa Partners and subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Ferrero Acquired Wells Enterprises (Ice Cream)

  • Date: December 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed 
  • Target: Wells Enterprises – An American food company, once the largest family-owned ice cream producer in the U.S., based in LeMars, Iowa. The manufacturer of Blue Bunny ice cream, Wells is the second-largest ice cream maker in the United States, behind Unilever.
  • Location: Iowa, United States
  • Buyer: Ferrero International S.A. – An Italian multinational producer of confectionery and branded chocolate products and the second-largest chocolate and confectionery company worldwide.
  • Purpose: “We are a 100-year-old company focused on adapting for the next 100 years,” said Mike Wells. “Ferrero is a like-minded company with a commitment to providing high-quality, premium sweet-packaged food products that bring joy to consumers around the world. This acquisition puts the business in the best possible hands, and I look forward to supporting the entire Wells team and Ferrero with the transition.”
  • Details: The Ferrero Group and Wells Enterprises agreed for Ferrero to acquire Wells, its operations, and its strong ice cream brands, which include Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon Classics, Bomb Pop, and Halo Top. The acquisition was part of Ferrero’s strategic growth ambitions for the ice cream category and Wells’s vision for accelerated growth.

Ferrero Acquired the Cookie and Fruit Snacks Business of Kellogg Company (Cookie and Fruit Snacks)

  • Date: July 2019 
  • Price: $1.3 Billion
  • Target: Kellogg Company (cookie and fruit snack business) – A multinational food manufacturing company based in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States.
  • Location: Michigan, United States
  • Buyer: Ferrero International S.A. – An Italian multinational confectionery and branded chocolate product maker and the second-largest chocolate and confectionery company worldwide.
  • Purpose: “This divestiture is yet another action we have taken to reshape and focus our portfolio, which will lead to reduced complexity, more targeted investment, and better growth,” said Steven A. Cahillane, Chairman and CEO of Kellogg. 
  • Details: The transaction was subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and closed during the second half of the year. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and JP Morgan Securities PLC advised Ferrero.

Ohio Processors Acquired Pierre’s Ice Cream (Ice Cream)

  • Date: April 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed 
  • Target: Pierre’s Ice Cream Company – A regional manufacturer and marketer of ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and frozen novelties.
  • Location: Ohio, United States
  • Buyer: Ohio Processors, Inc. – A fourth-generation business owned and operated by the Smith family that manufactures and distributes dairy-related products.
  • Purpose: To combine the two top Ohio-based businesses, allowing Ohio Processors to extend its customer base, product line, and geographical reach.
  • Details: The terms of the agreement were undisclosed. According to Ohio Processors, Inc., Pierre’s Ice Cream will continue operating from its plant in Cleveland, Ohio.

J&J Snack Foods Acquired Dippin’ Dots (Ice Cream)

  • Date: May 2022
  • Price: $222 Million
  • Target: Dippin’ Dots, LLC. – A leading producer of flash-frozen beaded ice cream treats.
  • Location: Kentucky, USA
  • Buyer: J&J Snack Foods Corp. – A U.S. snack food maker founded in 1971 with current revenue of $1.30 billion. 
  • Purpose: Add an iconic, differentiated brand to J&J Snack Foods’ portfolio. The deal was to leverage both companies’ combined strength in entertainment and amusement locations, theaters, and convenience stores to expand the business. 
  • Details: The acquisition for $222 million was funded through cash and debt and subject to customary closing conditions.

CapVest Partners LLP Acquired Second Nature Brands (Snack Foods)

Second Nature Brands logo
  • Date: April 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed 
  • Target: Second Nature Brands – Produces Kar’s Nuts, Second Nature Snacks, and Sanders Chocolates.
  • Location: Michigan, United States 
  • Buyer: CapVest Partners – A private equity investor based in London.
  • Purpose: “Second Nature Brands is a very exciting platform with ambitious plans to grow its presence in the highly attractive snacking and treats market,” said Othmane Khelladi, a partner at CapVest. 
  • Details: CapVest Partners completed the acquisition of Second Nature Brands via a private equity fund through Palladium Equity Partners. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Hershey’s Acquired One Brands (Protein Bars)

  • Date: September 2019 
  • Price: $325 Million
  • Target: ONE Brands, LLC – Manufacturer and provider of sports nutrition products, including low-sugar, high-protein bars to deliver healthy portable nutrition. 
  • Location: North Carolina, United States
  • Buyer: The Hershey Company – An American multinational company and one of the largest chocolate producers worldwide, as well as baked goods, such as cookies and cakes, milkshakes, and other products.
  • Purpose: “ONE Brands is a great addition to Hershey’s growing portfolio of better-for-you snacking brands, and we are excited about getting to work with this talented team,” said Mary Beth West, chief growth officer, The Hershey Company. “As the nutrition bar category continues to grow, ONE offers a compelling brand proposition with great-tasting, unique flavors, low sugar, and high protein.” 
  • Details: The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) announced completing its acquisition of ONE Brands, LLC, for a purchase price of $397 million. In the first year post-closing, the acquisition is expected to be slightly accretive to earnings.

Public Companies

The following is a list of public companies operating in the confectionery industry:

Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd. (TYO: 2206): Known as Glico, a Japanese multinational food processing company based in Osaka that operates in 30 countries in North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe

Lindt & Sprüngli AG (SWX: LISP): Founded in 1845 and trading as Lindt, this is a Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company famous for its chocolate bars and truffles, among other sweets. It is based in Kilchberg, Switzerland where its main factory and museum are located.

Lotte Confectionery Co., Ltd. (KRX: 004990): A Korea-based holding company that mainly runs department stores and operates through its subsidiaries, including Lotte Shopping Co Ltd, Lotte Chemical Co Ltd, and Lotte Confectionery Co Ltd. The company is engaged in the department store business, petrochemical basic chemical manufacturing, glaciers, baking products, and health functional food manufacturing.

Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd. (TYO: 2269): A Japan-based holding company established in April 2009, after the stock transfer from Meiji Seika and Meiji Dairies that manages subsidiaries manufacturing and selling food and medicines. Products in the food segment include ice cream, chocolate, gummies, gum, and others.

Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ): A U.S. multinational confectionery, food, holding, beverage, and snack food company based in Chicago, Illinois with annual revenue of approximately $26 billion operating in 160 countries.

Morinaga & Co., Ltd. (TYO: 2201): A global confectionery and candy company in Tokyo, Japan, operating since 1899.

Nestlé S.A. (OTCMKTS: NSRGF): A Swiss multinational food and drink processing company headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland. It has been the world’s largest publicly held food company since 2014.

The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY): A U.S. multinational and one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world. Hershey’s also makes baked products, such as cookies and cakes, and sells beverages like milkshakes, as well as other products.

Private Equity Firms

The following is a list of private equity firms investing in the confectionery industry:

  • Eurazeo: A leading global investment company with a diversified portfolio that includes investments in the food and confectionery industries. Eurazeo has invested in well-known confectionery brands, such as the Mondelēz candy brand, and supports companies in expanding their market presence. Investments it has made in the industry include: 

Eurazeo created a new independent group called CPK Group with a wholly-owned operating subsidiary Carambar & Co. The new group was formed through the purchase of the iconic Mondelēz confectionery and chocolate brands with the aim to create a line of French confectionery under the slogan of “Made in France.”

  • Highlander Partners: A private investment firm that typically focuses on middle-market companies and provides capital and operational expertise to drive growth and value creation. Investments it has made in the industry include:
Bettera Brands logo

Bettera Brands – A holding company for Bettera Wellness, Nutravail, and Hillside that use confection products as an alternative delivery system for vitamins, minerals, and supplements.

Fuerst Day Lawson – A global provider of customized specialty ingredients for the food, beverage, fragrance, and chemical industries, including amino acids, aroma chemicals, beverage syrups, botanical extracts, energy and fortification solutions, flavorings, colors, honey, juices, preservatives, acidulants, seeds, grains, confections, and sweeteners. It serves a global customer base, with operations in the United Kingdom, the United States, and China.

  • Swander Pace Capital: A private investment firm that typically focuses on middle-market companies and provides capital and operational expertise to drive growth and value creation. Investments it has made in the industry include:
Café Valley, Inc. logo

Café Valley, Inc. – A leading manufacturer of croissants and sweet baked goods, including cakes, muffins, coffee cake bites, and loaf cakes. Its products are sold within the retail, foodservice, mass, club, and c-store channels across North America under the Café Valley brand and private labels.

Oregon Ice Cream Co. – Owns Alden’s Organic Ice Cream, which offers quarts, pints, sandwiches, bars, and dairy-free products. It also owns Cascade Glacier, a leading foodservice ice cream brand in the Pacific Northwest. The company uses its excess capacity and innovation capabilities to support third-party brands as a contract manufacturing partner.

Venture Capital Firms

The following is a list of venture capital firms investing in the industry:

  • AccelFoods: Focuses on early-stage consumer packaged goods companies, including those in the confectionery sector, by providing the capital, resources, and strategic support to help companies scale and succeed. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Clio Snacks – A consumer goods company that manufactures yogurt bars wrapped in dark chocolate, frozen yogurt, and snacks for the food industry, giving consumers a convenient alternative to snacking.

Cocomels – A line of innovative, delicious, mindfully crafted candy confections made with simple, high-quality ingredients.

Skinny Dipped Almonds – Offers almond-coated flavored chocolates that are nutritious and gluten-free. They are sold in physical stores and online e-commerce platforms, enabling consumers to enjoy a natural and healthy alternative to chocolates and snacks.

  • Alliance Consumer Growth: Invests in emerging consumer brands, including those in the confectionery industry. It partners with companies with unique products, strong growth potential, and a differentiated brand proposition. Investments it has made in the industry include:

barkTHINS – Snackable slivers of Fair Trade Certified dark chocolate bark paired with real, simple, Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients for an original take on snacking.

Clio Snacks – A consumer goods company that manufactures yogurt bars wrapped in dark chocolate, frozen yogurt, and snacks for the food industry, giving consumers a convenient alternative to snacking.

  • Boulder Food Group: Invests in emerging consumer packaged goods brands, including those in the confectionery space. It supports companies with innovative products, strong brand positioning, and growth potential. Investments it has made in the industry include:
Mid-Day Squares logo

Mid-Day Squares – The first functional chocolate bar containing high fiber, protein, and omega 3s to satisfy sweet cravings and fuel the body through those mid-day slumps.

  • CircleUp: An investment platform that connects consumer brands, including confectionery companies, with accredited investors. It focuses on early and growth-stage companies and has expertise in the consumer goods sector. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Deziria – Blends fine chocolate with sustainable products to ensure a fulfilling experience for its consumers.

Mānoa Chocolate – An award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Kailua, Hawaii. Much like a winery sources grapes and transforms it into wine, Mānoa Chocolate takes raw cacao and crafts it into fine chocolate for tasting, savoring, and baking.

Undercover Snacks – A covert operation crafting delicious chocolate snacks that offer guilt-free, gluten-free, and allergen-friendly treats with superfood protein and lower sugar and calories.

  • VMG Partners: Invests in emerging consumer brands across various sectors, including confectionery. It targets companies with strong growth potential, a differentiated product offering, and a compelling brand story. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Justin’s – The maker of the best tasting natural and organic almond, hazelnut and peanut butter, and organic peanut butter cups.

Lily’s Sweets logo

Lily’s Sweets – Every product is gluten-free, non-GMO verified, and Fair Trade Certified. Since 2011, Lily’s has committed to providing customers with the highest quality ingredients in better-for-you sweets.

Smash Mallow – With simple and clean ingredients, delicious flavors, and convenient resealable packaging, this snack company gives everyone permission to indulge, offering products that are gluten-free and made with organic cane sugar and non-GMO ingredients.


The following is a list of professionals servicing or investing in the confectionery industry:

Angel Partners

  • Alliance of Angels: A prominent angel investor network based in the U.S., it invests in a wide range of sectors, including food and beverage. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Theo Chocolate – The first bean-to-bar chocolate company that is an organic Fair Trade Certified and GMO-free cocoa producer in the United States. Based out of Seattle starting in 2006, Theo Chocolate is a pioneer of a shared value for-profit company

  • Alicia Robb: Author, researcher, angel investor, and managing partner of two early-stage venture funds, Robb is a Ph.D. economist specializing in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, and international development. Her confectionery industry investments include:

Uncommon Cacao – The world’s trusted cacao supply chain partner, delivering premium quality, transparently sourced cacao to over 250 chocolate makers globally, including the sourcing operations of Maya Mountain Cacao in Belize and Cacao Verapaz in Guatemala, a Certified B Corporation.


  • BDS Analytics: A market research and consulting firm specializing in the cannabis industry. It provides market insights, consumer research, and strategic consulting services to confectionery businesses in the cannabis-infused edibles market.
  • Candy Management Consultants Ltd: Has helped companies achieve health and safety compliance and ISO certification ever since 2017. It streamlines compliance processes to align with the daily operations of its clients’ businesses.
  • Maverick Technologies: A systems integration and business partner, it’s confectionery production consultants and process experts provide enterprise-wide, integrated solutions as part of its food and beverage offerings.

Law Firms/Attorneys

  • Hogan Lovells: A dedicated food and beverage practice that covers a wide range of legal services, including regulatory compliance, intellectual property, labeling and advertising, product liability, and commercial transactions.
  • Keller and Heckman LLP: Specializing in food and drug law, it provides legal counsel on regulatory compliance, labeling, advertising, food safety, product recalls, and other matters relevant to the confectionery industry.

Confectionery Product Manufacturing Associations

The following is a list of associations for the confectionery industry:

  • Association of Chocolate, Biscuit, and Confectionery Industries of Europe (CAOBISCO): Represents Europe’s chocolate, biscuit, and confectionery industries by advocating for the interests of its members, engaging in dialogue with policymakers, and promoting responsible business practices in the confectionery sector.
  • Cocoa Merchants Association of America, Inc. (CMAA): The leading merchant association addressing issues including importing, trading, and the physical operations of cocoa beans and products in the U.S. by providing education on the complexity of the global supply chain.
  • European Cocoa Association (ECA): Representing the interests of the European cocoa industry, it promotes sustainable cocoa production by improving the quality of cocoa beans and addressing issues related to cocoa trade, processing, and consumption in Europe.
  • Fine Chocolate Industry Association: The non-profit professional international association for anyone working in the chocolate industry, it represents the interests of the fine chocolate industry worldwide. It is an international association that brings together chocolate makers, chocolatiers, cacao farmers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in the fine chocolate sector.
  • International Confectionery Association (ICA): A global association that brings together confectionery manufacturers, suppliers, and industry professionals from around the world, it is a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and addressing common challenges faced by the confectionery industry on a global scale.
  • National Confectioners Association (NCA): Represents the candy and confectionery industry in the U.S., advocates for the industry’s interests, promotes responsible confectionery consumption, and provides resources and support to its members.
  • Retail Confectioners International: Serving the confectionery industry for over 100 years, a source for information and ideas for retail confectioners that aims to help members build successful businesses by providing networking, education, and resources.
  • Specialty Food Association: Represents specialty food producers, including confectionery companies, and provides resources, networking opportunities, and industry insights for confectionery manufacturers and other specialty food producers.
  • Western Candy Association & Western Candy Conference: An organization representing the confectionery industry in the western region of the U.S., it supports and promotes the interests of candy manufacturers, suppliers, and related businesses. It organizes the Western Candy Conference, an annual event that brings together industry professionals and serves as a platform for education, networking, and business opportunities.

Confectionery Product Manufacturing Publications

The following is a list of publications in the confectionery industry:

  • Bakery and Snacks Magazine: While not solely dedicated to confectionery, this publication provides insights into trends, innovations, and market analysis relevant to the confectionery sector.
  • Confectionery News: A well-known publication that covers news, trends, and developments in the global confectionery industry, it caters to industry professionals, including manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, and industry stakeholders. It provides timely and informative content related to products, companies, market trends, ingredients, packaging, and more. 
  • Confectionery Production Magazine: Focuses on the production and manufacturing side of the confectionery industry. It covers processing technologies, equipment, ingredients, packaging, and industry best practices.
  • International Confectionery Magazine: A reliable source for staying informed about the industry on a global scale, known for its comprehensive coverage and ability to provide valuable insights into the industry.
  • Specialty Food Magazine: Though not exclusively focused on confectionery, this magazine provides industry insights, trends, and features on specialty chocolates, candies, and other confectionery products.
  • Manufacturing Confectioner: Focused on confectionery manufacturing and the technical aspects of the industry, covering product development, ingredient functionality, quality control, and production efficiency.

Resources (Books, Podcasts, etc.)

The following is a list of resources focused on the confectionery industry:

  • Books
    • Confectionery and Chocolate Engineering: Principles and Applications: Confectionery and chocolate manufacturing have been dominated by large-scale industrial processing for decades. A trial and error approach is often applied to developing new products and processes rather than verified scientific principles. This book provides a theoretical description and analysis of confectionery manufacturing, opening up new possibilities for process and product improvement relating to increased efficiency of operations, new materials, and new applications for traditional raw materials.
    • The Science of Sugar Confectionery 2nd Edition: Since the first edition of The Science of Sugar Confectionery in 2000, the industry has responded to ever-changing consumer habits. This new edition has been revised to reflect the industry’s response to market-driven nutrition and dietary concerns and changes in legislation, labeling, and technology.
  • Podcasts
    • Candy and Confectionery Industry: Everyone loves to have candies and chocolates. Each week, this podcast brings stories of teen entrepreneurs. Through their stories, it tries to understand how an entrepreneur thinks and how these young people bring their ideas to life.
    • Chocolate On The Road: Twice a month, Chocolate On The Road explores a chocolate topic or destination, weaving together history, experiences, and culture to create a storytelling podcast that’s part interview and part documentary. Listeners learn what it means to love chocolate in the modern age, the issues surrounding the industry, and the stories behind every chocolate bar, cocoa bean, and human being.
    • Confectionery Conversations: Candy Industry magazine’s senior editor Liz Parker hosts candid conversations with confectionery industry insiders, who share their perspectives on retail strategies, manufacturing, ingredient sourcing, and more.

Industry Information

NAICS Code(s)

  • 311340 – Non-Chocolate Confectionery Manufacturing
  • 311352 – Confectionery Manufacturing From Purchased Chocolate
  • 4452 – Specialty Food Retailers
  • 445292 – Confectionery and Nut Retailers
  • 445298 – All Other Specialty Food Retailers
  • 722515 – Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars

SIC Code(s)

  • 2064 – Candy and Other Confectionery Products
  • 5145 – Confectionery
  • 5441 – Candy, Nut, and Confectionery Stores

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