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.

America Loves ‘Click and Collect’

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Recently, our friends over at CNBC asked us to take a closer look into services that allow people to shop online and then pick up the items in-store—also known as “Click and Collect.” Through a survey to more than 1,000 American shoppers, InfoScout determined that of the 34.6% of Americans who have tried Click and Collect, half of them (49%) tried it for the first time in 2015. As CNBC concluded, “Like it or not, ‘click and collect’ is here to stay“.

 

Although two-thirds of America have yet to try this type of service, its staying power is clear because those who use it, love it. Fifty-four percent of shoppers who have used this service, used it during the 2015 holiday season. Along the same lines, 95% of shoppers who used this service during their 2015 holiday shopping indicated that they were very likely to use it again for their 2016 holiday shopping (vs. only 1.6% who said they would be unlikely to do so again).

 

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the overall satisfaction ratings on the service are strong. Jaron Waldman, CEO of San Francisco based Curbside, a click and collect app, tells us that across his clients (which include the likes of Target, Best Buy, CVS and Sephora) “56% of people who try it come back and order again”. He also pointed out that many of the shoppers on the Curbside app are also members of Amazon Prime, but they “like the flexibility of picking it up when and where they want, in under an hour”.

When asked about the reasons why they chose Click and Collect for their purchase, one word really stood out among our survey respondents open-ended answers: convenience.

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“Cheaper than shipping it to my house” – Ann from Cincinnati

“Easier and then I was guaranteed to get the item I wanted without any hassle” – Jessica from Tulsa

“Faster than having it shipped to the house but still able to get the online deals.” – Chris from Seattle

 

Even though love is in the air, the Click and Collect trend is still far away from completely replacing regular grocery shopping trips. More than half of all respondents who used Click and Collect throughout 2015 reported only using it between two and five times when, on average, they do 72 fill-up or stock-up trips over the course of a year.

 

You may be asking yourself: Who are the retailers capitalizing on the trend? Topping the list with a commanding lead was Walmart (where 69% of respondents indicated they’ve used Click and Collect service, followed by Target (34%), Kohl’s (17%), and JC Penney (15%).

 

About the Data:
For this study, we surveyed 1,000 of our panelists who have used a “click and collect” service. InfoScout tracks the purchases of more than 350,000 Americans who report more than 300,000 shopping trips every day through our Receipt Hog, Shoparoo, and Receipt Lottery apps.

Shoppers Have Already Made Gift Purchases Ahead of Black Friday

Yesterday, we asked our panelists how they are preparing their holiday gift shopping, going into what is undoubtedly the most important shopping event of the year: Black Friday.

To our surprise, the majority (66%) answered that they’ve already bought their first gift. Only (12.8%) say that they’ll be buying their first gifts of the season during Black Friday Weekend.

A factor at play here might be the fact that every year, special sales events happen before Black Friday, like Sam’s Club pre-Black Friday sale last weekend.

What type of gifts are shoppers getting this early in the season, and for whom? Over half of those gift purchases (53%) were considered the primary gift for the recipient. So these early buyers aren’t just accumulating stocking suffers, they’ve already knocked off some of the most significant items on their list, Of those recipients, 56% were children and 44% adults.

Also of note is that 46% of those early gift purchases made by our panelists were made online. This is a noticeably high number when compared to the normal ratio that online sales have against brick & mortar stores, which either indicates that early holiday shoppers tend to shop online, or that online retailers are in for a very healthy 2015 holiday season.

 

About the data:

The insights for this writing are powered by a pre-Black Friday survey completed on November 17, 2015 by 250 of our over 300,000 active panelists. To find out more about this shopping season, stay tuned for our real-time coverage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
 

Press contact for additional insights or data to support custom stories: CJ Acosta cjacosta@infoscoutinc.com

Client contact for real-time insights throughout the holiday shopping season: Ben Ahn ben@infoscoutinc.com