Easter 2023 Spending Expected to Reach Record $24B

The Christian holiday is 2nd-most popular holiday for purchasing candy, providing retailers an opportunity to promote private label assortments.
Easter candy

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. 

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.