The total market for nougat and Christmas sweets slightly exceeded 30,670 tonnes during 2014, with an overall value of sales of all these products of about 275 million euros. The most notable fall was registered in domestic demand, which fell by 3.8% to just over 26,430 tonnes. The foreign market, on the other hand, continued to show a very positive dynamism, growing by 7.2% in volume. The national market accounted for around 235 million euros, a year-on-year increase of 1.2%, while exports reached a further 40.7 million euros (+ 1.8%). Nougats represent 82% of all this market in value, while the remaining 18% correspond to marzipan and other Christmas products. Given its market values, the most important offer is chocolate nougat, with a share of 24.1%, followed very closely by traditional nougat, (23.8%). Yams and marzipan nougat (4.6%), other varieties of nougat (7.1%), nougat cakes (3.3%), polvorones and mantecados (6.5%), (3%), figures of Easter (2.8%), roscos, puff pastry and marquesas (2.5%), bread from Cadiz and other breads ( 1%) and pine nuts (0.7%). All other Christmas specialties account for the remaining 16.4%. According to commercial volumes, nougat accounted for 64.1% of all sales, followed by festive specialties (27.8%), marzipan and bread from Cádiz (5.1%) and festive figures (3% ). Among the nougat, the chocolate is the best-selling, with 45.7% of the total in volume. Next are traditional nougat (32.2%), other specialties of nougat (12%), nougat of yolk (6.6%) and nougat cakes (3.5%). Among the festive specialties, the most popular are the polvorones and mantecados, with 33.8% of the total. The production covered by the Protected Geographical Design Jijona and Turrón of Alicante exceeded during the last year the 5,180 tons, repeating practically the results of the previous year. The nougat of Jijona represents 50.5% of the total, while the remaining 49.5% corresponds to the nougat of Alicante. Over the last year, almost 19.7 million back labels of the protected designation were delivered. The national market absorbed 87.8% of the production covered by the nougat denominations of Jijona and Alicante, while the remaining 12.2% was sold outside our borders.


The sector of manufacturers and marketers of nougat and Christmas sweets has carried out a significant restructuring that has drastically changed the dimensions and commercial strategies of the main players in this market. Traditionally, it was a sector made up of many small and medium-sized enterprises, often semi-traditional. At present, the concentration processes are very perceptible and have generated a small group of big companies that, often, based on the internationalization their perspectives of sustainability. They have also diversified their offers, venturing into some related sectors, such as chocolates, chocolates, industrial confectionery, etc. The penetration of international capital is not, at the moment, important among the main companies of the sector. The first operator in the sector has sales of 52 million euros per year, while the second round is 49 million euros, the third reaches 28 million euros, the fourth is close to 25 million euros and the fifth is situated In 22 million euros. The first manufacturer of nougattes has a production of almost 7,350 tonnes, the second reaches 5,250 tonnes and the third is about 4,000 tonnes per year. In the segment of other Christmas sweets, the largest group exceeds 3,590 tonnes, while the second round is 2,200 tonnes and the third is at 1,960 tonnes. Distribution brands have become very important in the nougat market and account for 61.7% of all volume sales and 46.7% in value, while the first Marquist offer reaches 14.9% and 16.1% and the second stays at 6.6% and 10.8%.


The domestic market is unable to absorb the production of Christmas nougat and sweets, so that exports are a key resource to ensure the sustainability of the sector. The main manufacturers of these products have put in place strong internationalization strategies to compensate for the sluggishness of internal demands. During the last financial year, about 4,240 tons of Christmas nougat and candy were exported. The total value of foreign trade was more than 40.7 million euros, 1.8% more than in the previous year. Exports currently account for 13.8% of the total market in volume and 14.8% in value. In the case of nougats covered by Quality Denominations, exports were slightly above 630 tonnes, which was a significant year-on-year reduction of 33.2%. Most of this foreign trade (85.4% of the total) is directed towards countries outside the borders of the European Union. The main destination market for these exports is the United States, followed by some Latin American countries where there are important colonies of emigrants or children of Spanish emigrants. In the European Union, France appears as the main customer of the Spanish nougat, followed by Italy, Belgium and Germany. Imports of Christmas sweets are very important. Until a few years ago, the main imported product were panettones from Italy, but they have already been incorporated in the catalogs of the main companies of the sector.

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Montse Gonzalez