Natalia Lusinski
March 26, 2016 9:06 pm
Niall Kennedy / Flickr

Sure, we see Peeps and Cadbury Eggs everywhere we go, but did you know that Easter-time is when the most candy is purchased? It even beats out Halloween (which would have been my guess) and Valentine’s Day. Crazy, right?

Last year, in the week before Easter, Americans bought $823 million dollars’ worth (!) of chocolate rabbits, creme-filled eggs, and marshmallow chicks, according to Nielsen data. Do you blame them?!

To put things into perspective, Americans bought 146 million pounds of candy in the week before Easter — aka almost a half-pound per person (every woman, man, and child in the U.S.!). I know I’ve already surpassed that, so I guess I’m part of the proof that Easter candy is waaaay too easy to buy and eat. Plus, it’s so enticing — who can pass up a Peep?!

And, you can do more than just eat them.

But, getting back down to (candy) business, why — and how — does Easter trump Halloween in sales?! Perhaps because more people indulge in Easter treats, 170.1 million, vs. Halloween ones, 147.2 million.

Plus, more people celebrate Easter than Halloween. According to the National Retail Foundation, 80 percent of people plan to celebrate Easter, while only 60 percent planned to celebrate Halloween. “Easter is a traditional holiday that consumers of all ages and on all budget levels celebrate with family and friends,” said Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow.

Nielsen’s point-of-sale data also found that 17 percent of candy sold annually is “seasonal,” and Easter makes up over a third of seasonal candy. From the manufacturer’s side, though, Halloween still wins as being the biggest holiday, according to Chris Gindlesperger, vice president of public affairs and communications at the National Confectioner’s Association.

However, some say Easter may not stay on top for long, as there’s been a decline in sales the last four years vs. other categories. So, some Easter candy brands are stepping up their candy game and becoming available year-round, like the Just Born brand, which now sells Peeps at other times of year, too, like at Christmas. Though they sell the most Peeps, 70 percent, around Easter, a Just Born spokesman said.

The Confectioner’s Association estimates that Easter candy sales will be $2.4 billion this year, approximately 1.4 percent more than last year. Halloween candy-buying is lower, around 2.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Personally, I don’t think the Easter Bunny has anything to worry about — it doesn’t seem like he’ll be going bankrupt anytime soon. Or ever.

In any case, pass me some more Peeps, please.

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