Americans will spend a record $24 billion on Easter this year despite ongoing economic pressures.
“Easter endures as an important holiday for many Americans, signifying new beginnings and a time of celebration with friends and family,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release. “As consumers plan to mark the occasion through a variety of traditions, retailers are dedicated to making this year a memorable holiday.”
This year’s figure is up from $20.8 billion in 2022, surpassing the previous record of $21.8 billion in 2020.
The survey, conducted by the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics, found consumers plan to spend $3.8 billion on gifts, $7.3 billion on food, $4 billion on clothing and $3.3 billion on candy.
It might, however, not be name-brand candy. Earlier this month, PYMNTS reported on the earnings report by convenience store chain Casey’s, which says candy companies’ recent price hikes have opened the door for new private label sales.
“This is a great example of why private label is so important: we saw in the candy category that a lot of the national brands were passing on some impressive cost increases to all retailers, and it was starting to put some pressure on unit velocity,” Chief Financial Officer Steve Bramlage said. “That gave us confidence to go into the candy bar category, which historically has been a really difficult category to penetrate because of the brand strength of the national manufacturers.”
Bramlage added that the company’s private-label candy bars have “become some of the top-selling items in the category,” due to their competitive pricing relative to product quality.
As noted here, his comments counter arguments by candymakers late last year, who claim that the strength of their brands protects them from the types of trade-downs facing other retail products.
“Because of [our customers’] enduring brand loyalty, private label share is either flat or down in the vast majority of our markets,” Mondelēz International CEO Dirk Van de Put told analysts in November. “Shoppers continue to say they are much less likely to switch to private labels in chocolate and biscuits compared to other categories.”
However, inflation has taken a toll on brand loyalty among many shoppers, according to data from the latest edition of PYMNTS’ Consumer Inflation Sentiment study, “Consumer Inflation Sentiment: The False Appeal of Deal-Chasing Consumers.”
The report identifies a group of grocery shoppers, the “persuadables,” who try to balance deal-seeking and brand loyalty. This group, which makes up 39% of consumers, contrasts the 17% that remain loyal to their favorite brands and the 44% that are always looking for discounts and special offers.