Candy canes, candy corn, candy hearts: whether Christmas or Easter, Halloween or Valentine’s Day, every holiday has its trademark sweet, and customers are more than happy to hand over the money for a bit of holiday cheer. When it comes to candy, chocolate reigns supreme. The value of the chocolate market in the United States comes close to 50 billion U.S. dollars. Sugar confectionery generates only slightly more than 34 billion dollars in market revenue. Seasonal items get outperformed by non-seasonal offerings. A breakdown of the market by category reveals that regular chocolate and chewy candy outsell seasonal chocolate, which generates about 3.3 billion U.S. dollars in sales annually.
The seasonal holidays
When any of the seasonal holidays comes closer, candy sales start to slowly pick up, until they peak around the holiday in question. Weekly sales data for candy makes the holidays clearly visible. All holidays show that consumers spend more on seasonal chocolate than seasonal non-chocolate products; the gap between the two categories is the smallest on Halloween. Seasonal chocolate has the farthest reach on Easter, where it can be found in 46.1 percent of all U.S. households. The overall reach of seasonal non-chocolate products is smaller than that of seasonal chocolate. This is true for all holidays.
Of eggs and chocolate bunnies
Diving into the Easter holidays, candy is among the biggest items consumers spend money on. Behind other food, gifts, and clothing, spending on candy was expected to be slightly under three billion U.S. dollars for Easter 2022. This is an increase of approximately one billion dollars since 2007. The spending on candy in the weeks before Easter is dominated by one product: chocolate eggs. Reese’s milk chocolate peanut butter eggs, Cadbury creme eggs, solid chocolate, and hollow chocolate eggs all make their appearance among consumers’ favorite Easter candy. Chocolate bunnies can hop past the pure chocolate items but Cadbury and Reese’s products take the top spots, leaving the bunnies with only a third place in the hearts of consumers.
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Research expert covering food & agriculture in the UK & Europe