So, it’s Easter. A holiday blended with religious and secular traditions. And candy. Lots of Easter candy.
Today, you’re busy with friends and family and lots of food. You’ll either make ‘good’ choices or you won’t. I put ‘good’ in quotations because it’s alright to indulge every once in a while. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Enjoy it – enjoy that Easter candy (Just don’t eat the whole darn chocolate bunny in one sitting)
Because you probably won’t read this until tomorrow (Monday), I’m going to give you the run-down on the history and candy trends of what happened yesterday (Sunday).
The amount spent per person on Easter candy, decorations, and general bunny cheer continue to increase every hippity-hoppity year, according to some national surveys and statistics.
A survey from the National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will spend $146 per person on Easter, totaling $17.3 billion this year. This marks the survey’s highest level in its 13-year history. “Collectively, Americans plan to spend the most on food at $5.5 billion, followed by $3 billion on clothes, $2.7 billion on gifts, $2.4 billion on candy and $1.2 billion on flowers.” (source)
As of 2014, total U.S. Easter confectionery (candy) sales were $2.26 billion annually – up four percent from 2013, according to the National Confectioner’s Association.
To give you some insight about this upward trend, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy in 2012. That’s A LOT of peeps and chocolate bunnies.
The NCA also gives the rundown on the tradition of the Easter bunny.
The tradition of the Easter bunny began with the Easter Hare in Germany, who would leave brightly colored eggs for children on Easter morning. In the 18th century, the tradition of the Easter Hare came to the United States and eventually evolved into the Easter bunny we know today. Now, chocolate bunnies are the most popular items in Easter baskets, and are paired with other favorites, like jelly beans and marshmallow treats.
A household tradition:
- 87% of Americans buy or create an Easter basket for their kids.*
The Easter Bunny must have a sweet tooth. The most popular items included in an Easter basket are*:
- Easter candy/chocolate (82.5%)
- Non-edible items such as crayons, stuffed animals, books, markers, movie passes, etc. (72.9%)
- Healthier-for-you candy, such as dark chocolate or chocolate with added fruits and nuts (28%)
- Healthier-for-you snacks, such as granola bars or dried fruit (24.2%)
Like taking candy from a baby…*
- 80.5% of parents take candy from their kids’ Easter stash
- 26.1% sneak some when their kids are in bed or at school
- 54.4% have a rule in the house that candy must be shared
It’s the age-old question: which came first, the Easter bunny or the Easter egg?
- 52.4% of Americans say the Easter bunny came first*
(Editor’s Note: They’re right! The first reference to the Easter Bunny [known as the “Osterhase”] dates back to the 17th century, while Easter eggs weren’t popularized until the 19th century.)
There’s no wrong way to eat a bunny (though ear’s first is typical)*:
- Ears first: 88.7%
- Feet first: 6.6%
- Tail first: 4.7%
Solid or Hollow?
- 65.6% prefer of Americans prefer solid chocolate Easter bunnies.*
Red rules when it comes to popularity of jelly bean flavors*:
- Cherry and strawberry led in popularity with 23.9% and 19.3% of the vote, respectively
- Licorice garnered 14.8 percent of votes, with lemon trailing at 12.6%
- Grape had a smaller percentage of fans at 7.9%
- Still others (21.6%) claimed unnamed flavors as their favorite
And last, but definitely not least, who could forget peeps? According to this article on Easter facts:
- Each Easter season, Americans buy more than 700 million Marshmallow Peeps, shaped like chicks, as well as Marshmallow Bunnies and Marshmallow Eggs, making them the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy.
- As many as 5 million Marshmallow Peeps, bunnies, and other shapes are made each day in preparation for Easter.
- In 1953, it took 27 hours to create a Marshmallow Peep. Today it takes six minutes.
- Yellow Peeps are the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue, and white.