Beyond the Bunny: Easter Drives Growth in the Candy Category

Beyond the Bunny: Easter Drives Growth in the Candy Category

This Sunday, April 16, consumers around the country will be spending time with family and friends over food and sweet treats while celebrating one of the year’s biggest Christian and Catholic celebrations. For retailers and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers, the holiday marks an important time to ensure that they’re offering consumers the right assortment of candy where they shop.

Candy is a top treat across the U.S. that generates billions in sales for brands and retailers—most of whom are hoping to appeal to consumers’ sweet tooth, especially those who are celebrating Easter. Last year’s candy sales in the two weeks leading up to Easter totaled an impressive $1.3 billion. But consumers aren’t limiting their purchase of Easter-themed candy to just that two-week period. In fact, Easter candy generated more than $1.1 billion in sales through the year ended Feb. 25, 2017—with almost half (49%) of those sales occurring beyond the two weeks leading up to the holiday. Overall, Easter candy represents an impressive 30.8% of total seasonal candy sales.

Easter remains one of the most important consumer occasions for driving growth within the candy category. The two weeks leading up to Easter last year generated 20% more sales than the two weeks before another candy crushing holiday, Halloween.

So which types of Easter candy are consumers flocking to most leading up to the sacred Sunday? While chocolate Easter candy generated a whopping $422 million in the two weeks leading up to Easter last year, non-chocolate seasonal Easter candy struggled to keep pace with the year prior, declining by 1% compared to pre-Easter 2015. Two non-chocolate varieties, everyday gummi/jelly candy and everyday lollipops, also sold significantly more in the two weeks leading up to Easter compared to average weekly sales levels.

For candy manufacturers and retailers stocking this sweet sensation on the shelves, Easter is an important holiday in the U.S. that drives significant growth in weekly dollar sales. Planning accordingly for assortment, promotions and inventory is key.