Are you looking for fulfillment solutions in the sweets industry? Wondering how to prepare your ecommerce for this process? The answer is at your fingertips! In our article you will find useful tips and information about the most important stages of sweets fulfillment.
What do you know about the confectionery industry?
Although sugar is said to be addictive, it's hard to find anyone who doesn't tend to eat sweets at all. Confectionery in their various forms give us intense pleasure and we often treat them as a reward - they help us get through a difficult day, give us a short burst of energy, and improve our mood. Moreover, it complements parties, remarkable events, and family celebrations such as weddings, birthdays, or holidays -Christmas and Easter. No surprise that the world confectionery market was worth 235.5 billion US dollars in 2020. Based on product types, this market can be divided into three main categories:
- chocolate confectionery (dark and white chocolates),
- sugar confectionery (candies/boiled sweets, caramels, toffies, gums, jellies, chews, mints, pastilles),
- snack bar (energy bars, cereals bars).
Estimates projecting the development of this market in the next few years show a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of between 2.4% (forecast to 2030) and 3.45% (forecast to 2026). Certainly, much will depend on how responsive the industry is to consumer needs, and these are increasingly important. It is expected that due to the distribution channel in the confectionery industry, online shops will grow the fastest. Therefore, there is no need to worry about the development of this industry.
Trends and opportunities for confectionery ecommerce’s
A fresh idea or a new concept can be the force that drives business. The huge growth ability that is opening for online sweets shops overlaps to a large extent with those that will prevail in traditional brick and mortar shops.
Due to the growing awareness among the public of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, sweets with a reduced or zero sugar content are becoming more and more popular. All kinds of sugar substitutes are being tested and used on an ever-increasing scale. These products are intended to respond to the spreading health problems of the population, caused by stress and the fast lifestyle, such as obesity and diabetes.
Organic products are a global trend in the food industry in general, not only in the confectionery sector. In the matter of sweets, it mainly concerns chocolate products and the cocoa used to make them. Organic cocoa will continue to grow in popularity despite its high price - consumers are prepared to pay more for raw materials and products from sustainable, eco-friendly farming.
It looks like consumer expectations around the confectionery industry largely revolve around their online availability. Surprising? Not really. According to a survey conducted in 2021 in the UK, one-third of Generation X consumers said they would buy confectionery online - and we think it's a sign of the times. Such behaviour leads sweets manufacturers to focus significantly on developing online retail strategies. This turn of events is also an opportunity for small and medium-sized producers, who can sell and promote their products by own website, despite strong competition.
Client needs are also linked to the trends mentioned earlier, such as sugar-free sweets and organic products. This is due to increasing awareness of the sustainable industry, but also a large number of older people in the population. Civilisation diseases and growing knowledge force them to explore for substitutes, regardless of the money.
Best storage methods for confectionery
The correct storage of sweets is the same as for most foodstuffs. As we have chosen to describe the confectionery industry as a whole, it is important to remember that this is a set of general guidelines which should be adapted to the type of products stored. Slightly different rules will apply to bulk candies and chocolate products.
- The warehouse should be prepared for food storage, depending on the country this may involve additional permissions,
- products should be stored in a temperature-controlled environment,
- the warehouse shall be equipped with humidity control equipment,
- all products should be stored in dry conditions, out of direct sunlight,
- it is important to note that confectionery also has an expiry date, so stock management should be carefully watched.
First Expired, First Out (FEFO)
It is a term used in the field of inventory management, which means that the products with the shortest expiry date leave the warehouse first. Is the most common method used for food products and those with a short shelf life.
How to choose the right type of packaging?
In this case, individual packing seems to be more important. Depending on the type of product or its size, a completely different wrapping may be used.
Without a doubt, packing is also a huge visual factor and an element that catches the eye. Therefore, the packaging of the confectionery sold is often bright, flashy, colourful, and full of details. It plays a significant role in retail sales and pays back in cash. The confectionery industry often uses the possibility of primary and secondary packaging. This includes boiled candies, which are wrapped individually and then put into a slightly larger package.
Extremely popular packaging are also re-closable zipper bags and pouches. Which not only preserves the freshness of the product but is also convenient to use. The client can take out as much as he needs and enjoy the product on the run.
Other packages popular in the confectionery industry are gusseted poly bags, candy trays, or foil wrappers and each of them has its benefits.
However, you can also prepare gift boxes from pre-packed products. So, the customer can sample and review a larger quantity of confectionery. This option is particularly important for online retailers. It allows you to compose a variety of boxes and thus enrich your shop's offer, responding to buyers' individual needs. Perhaps by creating 'praline week' or 'jellies line'?
Gift boxes can be prepared on the fly, at the stage of order picking, or they can be assembled earlier. Very useful here are fulfillment services that can offload this phase of work from shop personnel and reduce order processing costs.
Returns policies for sweets: how to manage?
Sweets are classified as foodstuffs, and these are not always returnable. The rules may vary from country to country. Two scenarios are the most common: no returns or return within 14 days of delivery.
Sellers who decide to accept the return of ordered products (which may be mandatory by law) specify the circumstances under which a return may be accepted. In addition to the generally required proof of purchase, they require the products to be intact. In some return policies, you may also read that customer must notify the retailer of their intention to return products within 48 hours after receiving the parcel. If a customer wishes to return a product because the confectionery is damaged, the consumer may be asked to document the damage with photographs.
Those shops that do not accept returns claim that sweets belong to the food category, which rules out the possibility of returning them. However, it is worth remembering that these products also have a use-by date and if a customer receives a product with a short or expired date, the customer should be allowed to return the product or be refunded for such purchase.
The return policy should be based on current legislation. These may sometimes include exceptions, such as products that have been custom-made and tailored to the client's requirements.
How to manage fulfillment services for the sweets industry?
The availability of products and their internationality, make one of the most important aspects to stand out from the crowd with the excellent order fulfillment services that focuses on customer satisfaction.
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