The Candy Report: Easter 2017

We’ve seen the Easter displays in stores since the day after Valentine’s Day. Our kids have survived multiple egg hunts. For those of us who are old enough, we’ve waxed poetic about the retro Cadbury TV commercials with the bunny that clucked like a chicken. Now that the Easter basket grass has settled, it’s time to analyze the data to find out who won the holiday.

Through our proprietary mobile apps, InfoScout captured purchase data during the two weeks leading up to Easter. We also surveyed 500 people during Easter weekend based on actual purchases of Easter candy. This data produced a number of interesting insights.

Which Candy Brands Filled the Most Baskets?

InfoScout shopper data tells us that 9% of the population purchased some type of Easter candy, spending an average of $2.26. While Cadbury and Peeps were clearly the two brands purchased by the most shoppers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Dove Chocolate were the most expensive, followed by Hershey’s and Cadbury.

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But what do people think of first when it comes to Easter candy? When asked what Easter candy first comes to mind, respondents to the InfoScout survey during Easter weekend mentioned Cadbury Eggs, Peeps, and jelly beans above all others.

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Where Did People Buy Easter Candy?

Compared to any product purchased across the United States, we see the strongest index in the Midwest (125) and the least engagement in the West (85) for Easter candy. Interestingly, our data also shows a high “over” index (121) in rural areas of the country, opposite of urban environments (80).

This data confirms that tastes and preferences are not the same for all people and all places. Winning holidays like Easter requires brands and retailers to offer the right products for the right people rather than having the same products in every store.

Walmart and Target Dominate Easter Candy Share of Wallet

Nearly $8 of every $10 spent on Easter candy went to Walmart (40%) or Target (37.9%). In fact, the share of wallet for Easter candy for these two retail giants was nearly 2.5 times higher than their dollar share for any product – clearly Walmart and Target have the right balance of marketing and assortment for Easter!

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Digging into Easter Candy Shopping Trips

Most Easter candy shopping trips were not frantic, last-minute dashes to the store. On average, 17% of shopping trips are for pantry stocking, with more than 20 items per basket. However, this number jumped to 43% when Easter candy was involved, indicating that Easter candy was part of a larger, weekly trip.

Overall, about seven in 10 Easter candy shopping trips involved the purchase of more than 10 items. The basket also sheds light into the type of trip being made as the top five products sharing basket space with Easter candy were greeting cards, energy drinks, writing supplies, vegetables, and soft drinks.

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Our survey confirmed that very few shoppers run out for goodies on Easter morning. About half shop two or three days prior to Easter, while 35% shop three to 10 days ahead of the actual holiday, and 9% shop even earlier.

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This data shows that brands have time to market to and engage with shoppers during the days and weeks leading up to Easter. Most shoppers (77%) plan ahead to spoil their own kids and grandkids, rather than pick up random products at the last minute.gifting-easter-2017

3 Key Takeaways from Easter 2017

1. “One size fits all” is not a winning formula. Product preferences vary, sometimes significantly, from region to region across the country. Understanding these dynamics and preferences can be a major competitive advantage.

2. Lower risk translates to higher sales. The massive share of wallet for Easter candy won by Walmart and Target shows that people are confident these retailers not only have plenty of Easter candy, but also many other products. This allows shoppers to consolidate trips and simplify the shopping experience.

3. Procrastination is not always the rule. When it comes to Easter, shopping is usually a thought-out process and part of larger, weekly trips that occur during the weeks before the holiday weekend. With careful planning, brands have plenty of time to win the holiday.

Danton Crosser

Danton Crosser

Danton Crosser