Longer Lead-Up to Easter Holiday Means More Candy Sales This Year

Easter confectionery sales are expected to rise compared to last year, according to the National Confectioners Association.

NATIONAL REPORT — A longer lead-up to the Easter holiday and consumer enthusiasm for extending seasonal celebrations should yield excellent candy sales.

The Easter season is a major moment for the confectionery industry, totaling about $4 billion in sales in 2021 alone. 2022 Easter confectionery sales are expected to be 5 percent to 7 percent higher compared to last year, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA).

Consumers plan to spend an average $169.79 this year on Easter-related items, according to results of the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

"Consumers are eager to return to their pre-pandemic holiday traditions, particularly as it relates to purchasing food and gifts for in-person celebrations this Easter," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Friends and family want to be together, and consumers are willing to spend money to make these events memorable."  

With just over half (51 percent) of consumers planning in-person celebrations, up from 43 percent the previous year, food will account for the largest spending category. Among those planning to celebrate Easter, the average spend is $53.61 on food, followed by $28.04 on gifts and $27.93 on clothing, the NRF revealed.

NCA research shows that 91 percent of Americans plan to share their favorite confectionery treats with family, friends and other special people in their lives during the 2022 Easter season. Additionally, more than 90 percent of Americans who make Easter baskets plan to include chocolate and candy in their baskets as part of this special occasion, according to NCA.

"Many traditions during the Easter season give Americans a chance to celebrate spring with their family, friends and loved ones, something many of us are craving after countless special moments and holidays apart," said John Downs, president and CEO of NCA. "Sharing a little bit of confectionery is a time-honored tradition this time of year and an important consideration for consumers when they purchase chocolate and candy."

The type of candy included in Easter baskets varies widely. Forty-four percent of Americans say the best Easter treats are chocolate eggs and bunnies, while 20 percent prefer jelly beans in their Easter baskets. Candy-coated eggs (18 percent) and marshmallow candies (15 percent) round out Americans' top four favorite Easter basket items, according to NCA.

Eighty-four percent of Americans agree that chocolate and candy are a fun and important part of special celebrations and traditions like Easter. People in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy two to three times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day and just one teaspoon of added sugar per day from confectionery items.

Inflation could be a concern however, driving consumers to seek the most value for their dollar when shopping for the Easter holiday. If the price of an Easter-related item is higher than expected, 42 percent of consumers said they will look for it at another retailer and 31 percent will find an alternative like another brand or color. Like last year, half of holiday shoppers plan to purchase gifts at discount stores, 41 percent at department stores and 35 percent online, stated the NRF.

The National Confectioners Association is a trade organization for the U.S. confectionery industry, which generates more than $37 billion in retail sales each year.

The National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive.