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Easter 2008 Retail Sales Summary

May 1, 2008

2008 Easter Sales Review

Easter fell on March 23 this year, the earliest date since 1913. Luckily for the confectionery industry Easter will not fall this early for more than another century. In 2007, Easter fell on April 8 so there were sixteen less days to merchandise Easter confectionery products or 30% less days to merchandise product if you consider February 15 the official kickoff to the Easter selling season.

Most in the confectionery industry anticipated a decline in sales this year compared to 2007 – it was just a matter of how large the decline would be. Well the answer is in and Easter confectioner sales declined 7.1% for the Easter selling season according to Information Resources. All things considered the industry can hold its head high with this single digit decline when you consider the extreme early date and the continued difficulties with the U.S. economy.

Supermarkets experience the best year-on-year sales posting a 2.5% decline in sales while Mass Merchants had a 5.6% decline and Drug Stores posted a 12.5% decline in sales. Chocolate Easter candy sales decline 7.0% and non-chocolate candy declined 7.9%.

Fortunately for the industry we are anticipating a strong Halloween sales season with Halloween scheduled to fall on a Friday this year. So it’s time to put this year’s Easter behind us and begin looking forward to 2009 when Easter will fall on April 12.

2008 Easter $ Percent Change vs. Year Ago (Food, Drug & Mass excluding Wal-Mart)

Distribution Channel FD&M Food Drug Mass
Candy Category % Change % Change % Change % Change
Total Candy -7.1% -2.5% -12.5% -5.6%
Chocolate Candy -7.0% -1.4% -11.8% -7.6%
Non-Chocolate Candy -7.9% -6.8% -15.2% +2.0%