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Holiday Celebrations are Sweeter with Confectionery

Contact: Susan Whiteside

December 7, 2011

Americans relish seasonal traditions featuring candy and chocolate

(Washington, DC) - If visions of sugar plums are dancing through your head this month, you're not alone according the National Confectioners Association. Candy and chocolate have always played a starring role in our family holiday traditions - exchanging decadent boxes of chocolate, placing candy canes on the Christmas tree, hiding sweet treats in stockings and spinning the dreidel for chocolate pieces. The National Retail Federation expects the average consumer to spend about $90 on candy and other food this season, roughly 13 percent of their overall holiday spending.

"Holiday traditions are the cornerstone of celebrations this month and candy has a treasured place in many of our festivities," says Susan Whiteside, vice president of communications for the National Confectioners Association. "The combination of its affordable price point and its ability to add a little sweetness to our lives makes candy an alluring seasonal purchase."

Even during times of economic decline, shoppers are still likely to purchase confectionery because of its traditional role in holiday customs. NCA expects confectionery sales this holiday season will increase between 2 and 3 percent. That's in keeping with overall seasonal performance which is expected to increase 2.8 percent according to NRF.

"Candy has a unique role in holiday celebrations because of its popularity across a variety of seasonal activities," Whiteside adds. "This month we'll use candy in a many ways, from decorating our homes to baking sweet treats and from tucking little candies into advent calendars for children to giving traditional boxes of chocolates to loved ones and business colleagues."

NCA offers these low-cost tips for making your holidays even sweeter:

  • Practice ‘Less is More' When it Comes to Décor
    There's no need to spend a fortune on expensive store-bought decorations when simple touches can be just as nice. Make your seasonal display by placing bright foil-wrapped candies and chocolates in glass jars of varying sizes accented with holiday ribbons.
  • Warm Up with Hot Chocolate
    After an afternoon of ice skating or holiday shopping, warm up with a mug of delicious hot cocoa. Rim the edge of your mug with crushed red and white candies or use a peppermint stick to stir your beverage to make it even more enjoyable.
  • Spread Out the Happiness
    Create a candy or chocolate of the month club for the "sweetie" on your list this year. Instead of giving a one-time gift, spread out the happiness (and the cost) over 12 months. Each month promise to deliver a new sweet treat to your loved one. They'll value the time spent with you as much as the candy.
  • Sweeten Your Gift-Wrapped Packages
    All those ribbons, bags and bows add up. This year purchase inexpensive white craft paper and tie with a simple cord. Make your inexpensive packaging look like a million bucks by attaching candy canes, ribbon candy or flat swirled lollipops.
The National Retail Federation reports the average consumer spends about $90 on candy and other seasonal foods for the holidays, roughly 13 percent of their overall seasonal spending.