Who Owns Whom

Confectionery, often referred to simply as sweets or candy, holds a special place in the hearts and palates of consumers worldwide. With sugar and cocoa as its main ingredients, the confectionery industry provides various indulgent treats, from chocolates and candies to pastries and marshmallows.

The South African confectionery industry is dynamic and vibrant, and continues to evolve to meet the needs of consumers, although it faces challenges such as rising ingredient costs and competitive pressures.

The Power of Sensory Experience

The allure of confectionery lies in its ability to evoke tempting aromas, vibrant colours, and irresistible flavours, creating a multisensory indulgence for consumers.

Whether savouring a decadent chocolate truffle or enjoying a tangy gummy bear, confectionery products captivate the senses and provide moments of joy and pleasure. This sensory experience forms the foundation for brand differentiation and consumer loyalty in the competitive confectionery market.

Brand Differentiation and Premium Pricing

Successful confectionery brands leverage their unique sensory experiences to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and maintain premium pricing. Iconic brands like Nutella have achieved enduring success by offering singularly successful flavour profiles that resonate with consumers.

Lindt, a Swiss chocolate brand known for its premium quality ingredients and artisanal craftsmanship, commands higher pricing despite intense competition from conglomerates like Cadbury and Nestlé. The singular focus of Lindt on chocolate production allows it to prioritise quality and innovation, distinguishing itself from competitors with diverse product portfolios.

More broadly, as illustrated in the WOW report on The Confectionery Industry in South Africa, some well-known chocolate brands in South Africa have pricing that is vastly different on a cost per gram basis as illustrated in this table:

chocolate prices South Africa

Competitive Landscape in South Africa

In South Africa, the confectionery industry faces challenges posed by rising sugar and cocoa prices, changing consumer preferences, and competitive dynamics. Premium brands like Lindt may face pressure to maintain market share as cost-conscious consumers seek cheaper alternatives.

Conglomerates like Cadbury and Nestlé, with diverse product offerings beyond confectionery, must balance brand management and resource allocation across multiple categories. This complexity can impact brand focus and market positioning, affecting competitiveness in the confectionery segment.

The Biggest Trend Driving Competitiveness

One of the biggest trends contributing to competitiveness in the South African confectionery industry is the shift towards healthier and more sustainable products. With increasing consumer awareness of health and wellness, brands that offer sugar-free, reduced-sugar, and ethically sourced confectionery options are gaining traction.

By innovating with alternative sweeteners, natural ingredients, and eco-friendly packaging, brands can appeal to health-conscious consumers and differentiate themselves in the market.


The South African confectionery industry offers a tantalising array of indulgent treats that captivate consumers’ senses and evoke moments of pleasure. Successful brands differentiate themselves through unique sensory experiences, premium quality ingredients, and strategic branding.

However, in a competitive landscape shaped by changing consumer preferences and economic factors, brands must adapt to emerging trends, prioritise innovation, and maintain consumer trust to stay ahead of the curve. By embracing trends in health, sustainability, and sensory innovation, confectionery brands can navigate challenges and seize opportunities for growth and success in the dynamic South African market

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