Chocolate dominates Americans’ Easter candy preferences.
More than three-quarters of Americans (77%) will “absolutely” or “probably” buy Easter candy this year, according to an Instacart survey. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) agree that Easter candy is the best seasonal candy, and over half (57%) say 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,” said Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s trends expert. “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 creme fillings or malted chocolate.”
According to Instacart purchase data, the top 10 purchased Easter candies in the weeks leading up to Easter are:
- Cadbury Easter Creme Egg
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
- Starburst Easter Jelly Beans
- Cadbury Chocolate Mini Eggs
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses
- M&M’s Easter Milk Chocolate Candy
- Lindt Milk Chocolate Bunny
- Brach’s Jelly Bird Eggs
- PEEPS Yellow Marshmallow Chicks
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Candy Eggs
It’s clear that chocolate dominates Americans’ Easter candy preferences, with seven out of the top 10 candies including chocolate flavors, and Instacart found that nearly half of Americans (47%) say that chocolate bunnies are among the most superior Easter candies, followed by chocolate eggs (44%).
Instacart also looked at the most popular Easter candy in every state. The Cadbury Easter Creme Egg ranked most popular in 24 states, closely followed by Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs in 20 states. Combined, these egg-shaped chocolates are the top candy in 88% of the country. Starburst Easter Jelly Beans come in third as the top candy in five states including the Dakotas, the Carolinas, and Florida, while Cadbury Chocolate Mini Eggs are most favorable in Vermont and Massachusetts.
Compared to all other candy categories, marshmallow chicks and jelly beans experience the highest growth during the two weeks leading up to Easter, growing by 111% and 109%, respectively, even though 33% of Americans agree that marshmallow chicks are among their least favorite Easter candies and 24% say jelly beans are among their least favorite.
A recent consumer sentiment survey found that more than half of consumers (61%) do not expect COVID-19 to impact their Easter celebrations, which is the highest number for any major holiday since the onset of the pandemic. While food and candy top the list of planned purchases, nearly the same number of consumers plan to buy alcohol (25%) as those who plan to buy toys or games (27%).
The National Retail Federation’s annual survey estimates that consumers will spend an average $169.79 on Easter-related items this year for a total of $20.8 billion. Among those planning to celebrate Easter, the average spend is $53.61 on food, followed by $28.04 on gifts and $27.93 on clothing.