A recent survey of confectionery and snack food manufacturers revealed that most will significantly increase the number of new products launched in 2010. Conducted by Clear Seas Research, a division of BNP Media, the findings show that an overwhelming majority (91%) of candy/snack processors expect to launch between one and 10 products in 2010, “a significant increase in product launches over current year levels.”

Chocolate and candy products are expected to enjoy the most research and development activity, with more than half of those polled reporting activity in those product areas.

Four out of 10 manufacturers surveyed replied that they will zero in on snack foods, while less than 6% said they will concentrate on new gum launches.

Three-quarters of all respondents indicated that the development planned for 2010 will exceed product launches carried out this year.

When asked what specific consumer needs their product development efforts will focus on, most manufacturers said they were going to formulate products that address healthy, natural and convenient attributes. Moreover, nearly two-thirds (62%) of those polled expect to increase the use of natural flavors and ingredients in their candy/snack products next year.

Interestingly, low sugar/sugar-free, organic and fortified attributes were not regarded by most who participated in the research as areas for new product development.

However, when it comes to sustainability issues and the push for “greener” products, slightly more than half (51%) noted that their customers are, indeed, demanding greener attributes.

As a result, nearly half (45%) are looking at recyclable packaging as part of a corporate sustainability program, with nearly a quarter (24%) committed to new packaging.

For additional information about the survey, contact Sarah Corp at 1-248-786-1625 orcorps@clearseasresearch.com.