Downs Highlights Industry’s Unique Insights Into The Issues


As an industry made up of companies ranging from large multinationals, to mid- and small-sized manufacturers driven by the entrepreneurial spirit, confectioners can collectively offer a unique view on today’s economy and issues, wrote NCA President & CEO John Downs in a piece posted on

The op-ed lands as candymakers from across the country descend on the nation’s Capitol this week during NCA’s Washington Forum.

“The confectionery industry is made up of hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans, and representatives from confectionery companies will be here this week to make connections on Capitol Hill,” Downs wrote. “We advocate for uniform fair regulations and policies that benefit everyone from farmers to consumers to our retail customers. These confectioners represent the companies that have been making chocolate, candy, gum and mints for more than 100 years. And with nearly 1,300 manufacturing facilities in all 50 states, they are perfectly positioned to share their stories with policymakers in Washington.”

In addition to offering a unique viewpoint to policymakers, the industry also contributes significantly to the U.S. economy as it employs nearly 54,000 people. Beyond that, candymakers support another 550,000 jobs in adjacent industries such as agriculture, warehousing, transportation and retail, Downs explained.

“From Pennsylvania to California and everywhere in between, our purpose-driven companies and brands are making a deep impact on the communities where they operate. Beyond providing good-paying jobs, our member companies are committed to doing good locally, nationally and globally,” Downs noted.

These commitments to doing good include sustainability efforts on a number of fronts, from cocoa to packaging. This also includes the industry’s Always A Treat Initiative, a pledge from candymakers to give consumers more access to information, options and support as they enjoy their favorite treats.

“The next time you unwrap your favorite treat, think about the tradition, transparency, responsibility, leadership and hard work that went into creating that one simple moment of enjoyment. And consider that although the litany of issues that our country must face together might not fade any time soon, American manufacturing of chocolate and candy brings growth to our economy, strength to our communities and a little sweetness to those special moments,” Downs concluded.