Nerds Have Exploded In Popularity Since 2020

This unexpected candy is pulling in some serious numbers.

You might be surprised to hear that Nerds, the sweet little crunchy candy pebbles of Halloween baskets everywhere, have been on a massive run in the last few years: Morning Brew notes that retail sales of Nerds products have gone up from around $50 million in 2019 to an astounding $500 million in 2023. By now, the brand is making so much money that it's producing a 30-second ad that will run during one of the biggest TV events of 2024: Super Bowl LVIII.

Nerds is dropping some serious coin on the commercial, perhaps as much as $7 million. I'm sure America's dentists are thrilled.

Nerds Gummy Clusters are raking in serious cash

There's one product propelling the explosion of Nerds candy more than any other, and it's not the tiny tart sugar rocks you tilt your head back to eat straight from the box. Instead, it appears that the hype is mainly around Nerds Gummy Clusters, bite-sized gummy candies coated in Nerds. These were added to the portfolio in 2020 and are not to be confused with Nerds Rope, the similar product in a long cylindrical format that debuted in 2001.

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When I say this candy is doing well, I'm not exaggerating. Nerds Gummy Clusters took the coveted Best In Show Award at the 2021 Sweets and Snacks Expo. "I don't normally like Nerds, but I liked these a lot," said Takeout associate editor Aimee Levitt of the candy's debut at the Expo. "The sweetness of the gummy kept the sourness from burning a hole in my tongue." 

Then, in 2022, Nerds Gummy Clusters won big at the Product of the Year awards, based on consumer surveys. It nabbed the 2022 award in the sugar confections category.

Industry attention is one thing, but the sheer volume of social media love the hypercolor candy is basking in has helped drive sales enough to earn a spot in the coveted Super Bowl commercial lineup. Next time I'm at the drug store, I might have to give Nerds Gummy Clusters a spin, just to see what the fuss is about. Have I been sleeping on a truly great product? Are you a fan of this runaway hit? 

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