Easter drives consumer candy, snack purchases

March 25, 2013

When the Easter bunny comes hopping down the bunny trail he will be carrying baskets that are personalized for each recipient instead of pre-filled, reports The NPD Group, a global information company. An estimated 207 million U.S. individuals, including nearly 60 million children, celebrate Easter and an estimated 31 million of these celebrants give an Easter basket, only 5% of which are pre-filled, according to NPD’s SnackTrack Holidays Easter Profile.

Sixty percent of adults do not begin shopping for Easter baskets, gifts, snacks, and treats until about a week before Easter, reports NPD’s snacking research. A majority of celebrating adults (58%) buy Easter candy—and 40% of those individuals say they come in under budget for the category; gifts motivate more overspending than do candy or snacks. While grocery stores are the most commonly used channel for Easter, discount stores more successfully encourage higher spending on candy relative to budgets. More men than women identified grocery stores as their primary candy shopping destination; discount and drug stores favor female shoppers while dollar stores exhibit a nearly even split between genders.

Separate from all the buying and gifting, Easter is a religious holiday and the culmination of the Lenten season when some forego food or drinks for their beliefs. Other popular Easter traditions include decorating and dyeing eggs and Easter egg hunts. Being with family is another prevalent Easter tradition for many; while kids 2–12 were more likely to see relatives, teens more often got to sit down for a family meal in the home.

“The Easter holiday is a time for family—immediate and extended—which enables food manufacturers and retailers to connect with consumers via family imagery and themes,” said Darren Seifer, Food & Beverage Industry Analyst. “Creating marketing and merchandising plans that inspire earlier interest, activities, and even gifting will lead to added excitement around the holiday and greater spending.”

Press release