Easter 2022 is projected to be sweeter than Easter 2021—at least in terms of confectionery sales. The National Confectioners Association (NCA) predicts that candy and confections sales for this year's Easter season will be 5% to 7% higher than last yer, when sales reached about $4 billion.
The Washington, D.C.-based association attributes the likely increase to a longer lead-up to the holiday this year as well as consumer enthusiasm for extending seasonal celebrations.
“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 the 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 NCA found that more than 90% of Americans who make Easter baskets plan to include chocolate and candy in their baskets. Additionally, 44% of Americans say the best Easter treats are chocolate eggs and bunnies, while 20% prefer jelly beans. Candy-coated eggs (18%) and marshmallow candies (15%) rounded out Americans’ top four favorite Easter basket items.
84.51°, the Cincinnati-based Kroger-owned data and media company, also analyzed the makeup of Easter baskets and reported in its March Consumer Digest that for the 56% of shoppers who plan to make an Easter basket this year, chocolate is the treat of choice, followed by limited-edition Easter candy and fruit flavored sugar candy. Baskets will also be filled with toys (22%), books (16%), gift cards (12%) and money (11%).
Instacart, meanwhile, looked at America’s favorite Easter candies and found, via a Harris Poll online survey of more than 2,000 Americans, that 7 out of the top 10 candies feature chocolate flavors. What’s more, nearly half of Americans (47%) say chocolate bunnies are a superior Easter candy choice, followed by chocolate eggs (44%), according to the survey.
Instacart also found more than three-quarters of those polled (77%) saying they will absolutely or probably buy Easter candy this year. Nearly two-thirds (65%) also said Easter candy is the best seasonal candy, with more than half (57%) saying Easter candy is better than Halloween candy.
“Although Halloween may be the ultimate sweets holiday, largely centered around trick-or-treating for fun-sized candies, there’s a sensible reason many folks are more partial to Easter candy," Instacart trends expert Laurentia Romaniuk said in a blog post. "With marshmallow chicks, chocolate bunnies and eggs, and jelly beans hitting store shelves just once a year, consumers are able to look forward to the limited-time offering of the specialty candies, which often feature pastel colors, unique shapes, and indulgences like cream fillings or malted chocolate.”
Looking at specific products, Instacart found the Cadbury Easter Creme Egg to be the most popular Easter candy in 24 states, closely followed by Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs in 20 states. Combined, Instacart said, these egg-shaped chocolates are the top candy in 88% of the country.