The Mexican confectionery market remains both vibrant and in a growth mode. That’s according to information released by Confitexpo, organizers of the nation’s largest annual confectionery show in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The organization revealed data from Aschoco, Mexico’s sweets and chocolate manufacturers association, which shows that in 2008 per capita consumption of candy in Mexico reached 4.5 kg (nearly 10 lbs.), or 7.1% more than in 2007.

Also, during 2006, consumers ate 315,350 tons of confections, 148,800 of which was sweets, 97,000 of which was chocolate, and 69,550 of which was gum. In addition, candy consumers have increased by 10%, chocolate consumers by 7%, and chewing gum consumers by 10%.

Kids and teens (anyone under 20), which comprise 52% of Mexico’s population, represent the most dynamic segment of confectionery consumption, reports Mexico’s National Association of Supermarkets and Department Stores (ANTAD). Within this group, children account for 60% of the demographic, ANTAD says. As a result, most of Mexico’s sweet treats (about 80-90%) are geared to youngsters.

However, the industry has been able to successfully market specialty products, such as breath fresheners, sugar-free gum and diet products, to those older than 25. Ongoing innovations featuring new flavors, textures and fusions have garnered the attention of more mature consumers.

Visitors to Confitexpo, which will be held Aug. 2-5 at Expo Guadalajara, will have an opportunity to see Mexican as well as Latin American and other international confectionery manufacturers showcase their products.

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