Washington — Category sales for this past Easter holiday lapped the projected growth by more than one percent, as dollar sales grew 5.3 percent for the season, according to Sweet Insights.
“This is a projection we’re happy to miss as the category over delivered,” says larry Wilson, NCA vice-president of customer relations. “Even more encouraging, units were up 3.7 percent, driven by sales of chocolate and non-chocolate items.”
In addition, sales of merchandised items grew 7.5 percent for the season, which also benefited from a longer selling period, Sweet Insights reports.
Breaking Easter down to segment levels, chocolate increased sales seven percent, driven by improved merchandising support, particularly for features and displays, Wilson says. The segment was led by seasonal items, which account for 41 percent of the sector's sales and grew dollars by 12.5 percent.
Non-chocolate candy increased dollar sales by 3.8 percent, again driven by chewy candy. Comprising more than 40 percent of segment sales, chewy candy had dollar gains for 10.5 percent.
While gum was again challenged across channels, Wilson reports that drug retailers had a strong performance with the segment, as sales grew 9.2 percent. He explains these increases were a result of additional foot traffic in the channel by shoppers seeking products for Easter.