Easter 2023 Spending Expected to Reach Record $24B

Religious festival is 2nd-most popular holiday for purchasing candy
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
To save money this year, Easter shoppers will buy items on sale and use more coupons.

New data on Easter 2023 consumer behavior from Numerator, a Chicago-based data and tech company, reveals that 85% of consumers plan to celebrate Easter this year. Also, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation (NRF), Easter spending is expected to reach a record $24 billion this year, a $3.2 billion increase from 2022. With an influx in spending, this Easter Sunday is anticipated to be the biggest one yet.  

Additionally, Cincinnati-based 84.51°, Kroger’s retail data science, insights and media company, found in its March Consumer Digest that most shoppers will make food at home for Easter meals, though in eating at the homes of family or friends was in second place.  

[Read more: "Walmart, Target Offer Inflation-Busting Easter Deals"]

With high prices still very much on the minds of shoppers, however, Numerator reported that half of consumers expect economic hardships to affect their Easter plans. Taking steps to mitigate the impact, 51% of Easter celebrators believe that inflation or a potential economic slowdown will moderately or significantly affect their celebration plans. To save money, they will buy items on sale (58%), use more coupons (37%), prepare budget-friendly foods (29%), and shop at dollar or discount stores (26%).

According to NRF, even those not celebrating the holiday are planning to take advantage of Easter-related bargains, primarily looking to purchase candy and food. The organization clocked spending for the top Easter items that consumers will purchase at $3.3 billion for candy, $3.8 billion for gifts and $7.3 billion for food. 

Indeed, Easter is the second-most popular holiday for purchasing candy, noted Numerator, second only to Halloween, with 50% of celebrators intending to buy candy. 

Breaking down the candy purchases by generation, Numerator found that Boomers and older generations are 1.2 times more likely shop at Dollar General, opting for Werther’s Original (38% more likely to do so than other generations) and Brach’s (37% more likely to buy). Gen X shoppers spend an average of $8 more on Easter candy than other generations, and they are 30% more likely to purchase Mike and Ike and 27% more likely to purchase SweeTarts. Millennials tend to buy their sweet treats at Target, choosing Trolli (37% more likely to buy) and Kinder (36% more likely to buy). For its part, Gen Z prefers Nerds (46% more likely to buy) and Airheads (37% more likely to buy).

Meanwhile, consumers with children spend 27% more on candy than those without kids. Consumers with children are also three times more likely to purchase Kinder Joy and twice as likely to purchase Nerds, Sour Patch, and M&M Minis.

Easter candy buyers are also putting gifts in their shopping baskets, as they are six times more likely to purchase bubbles on the same trip, 3.5 times more likely to purchase clay and dough, and twice as likely to purchase action figures or art supplies.

Numerator’s survey was fielded to 5,263 consumers in January 2023. NRF’s survey of 8,499 U.S. adult consumers was conducted March 1-7.

  • Time to Start Marketing Easter Potatoes?

    Meanwhile, in the store perimeter, there's a new trend emerging as a result of skyrocketing egg prices. Potato Goodness, part of Denver-based Potatoes USA, reports that families are hopping on the trend of painting Easter potatoes.

    As it turns out, there are lots of upsides to brushing up on your spud art. In addition to being an affordable, nutritious pantry staple, potatoes are an excellent canvas for family activities.

    Across the internet, families are giving their best tips for crafting with the veggie. Some use edible paint and water-based food coloring to dye their potatoes so they can also be eaten. Artists can give potatoes a food coloring bath for a lighter color, or paint the food coloring directly on the spud for a vibrant alternative.

    Other families are using traditional paint to decorate potatoes as a way of showcasing artistic accomplishments. As with carving pumpkins at Halloween, the potato’s long shelf-life allows it to be displayed for a longer period of time.

    Plus, there’s the lack of prep work. Potatoes work best as an artistic medium in their natural state, so no boiling or setup is needed to make them canvas ready. Also, they’re tough against falls and drops.

    What’s more, potatoes shine as a nutritious pantry staple. Research published in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that potatoes have the highest score per dollar on eight important nutrients: potassium, fiber, protein, vitamins C and E, calcium, iron, and magnesium. 

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