According to a recent national survey conducted by NCA, it projects 2016 retail sales of Easter candy in the US will be nearly $2.4bn, up 1.4% from 2015. The trade body says the rise will be welcomed by the 55,000 manufacturing jobs in the US already tied to Easter confectionery.
“The strong sales period also supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in related industries – from companies who make silicone molds in which manufacturers craft the season’s celebrated chocolate bunnies to the retail employees who place those chocolate bunnies on store shelves,” Gindlesperger said.
Easter is the second largest season for US confectionery sales behind Halloween and ahead of Christmas.
Innovation and limited edition are seasonal business strategies
Gindlesperger said innovation drives the confectionery industry all year round, and Easter is no exception.
“At Easter, we’ve seen a number of well-known brands with seasonal line extensions. For example, Dove chocolate eggs, Reese’s peanut butter bunnies, SweeTarts and Swedish Fish jelly beans,” he said.
In addition, there is also an increase in gourmet products with customized holiday packaging, such as products from Lindt, its subsidiary Ghirardelli, and Ferrero, as well as a continuous focus on regional and local candy specialties, Gindlesperger said.
Gindlesperger added some NCA member companies have created limited edition flavors or products available exclusively at specific retailers.
“For instance, chocolate-dipped fruit flavored Peeps available at Target – or carrot cake Hershey’s Kisses available at Walmart,” he said. “Walmart will also be carrying new strawberry flavored Starburst jelly beans.”
What's new this Easter? See our Easter NPD gallery HERE.