Easter: The nation’s second biggest candy selling holiday

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The Daily Universe Newsroom Favorite Easter Candy Poll
Peeps: 1
Cadbury creme eggs: 2
Cadbury mini eggs: 7
Chocolate rabbit – solid: 3
Starburst jelly beans: 2
Malted milk balls (Robin’s eggs): 5
Foil wrapped solid chocolate Easter eggs: 2
Reese’s peanut butter egg: 15

Trumped by Halloween, Easter is known as the second best-selling candy holiday in the nation.

Americans spend an average of $2 billion on Halloween candy, $1.9 billion on Easter candy, $1.4 billion on Christmas candy and $1 billion on Valentine’s Day candy.

The first known Easter candy, chocolate eggs, appeared in the 19th century, followed by jelly beans in the 1930s and Peeps in the 1950s. Other varieties have been added, but these candies still rank highly in sales.

“Valentine’s and Easter shopping is usually last minute,” said Greg Knecht, non-foods manager at Smith’s Food and Drug Store. “It will look like we have way too much and then it will blast out of here within the last week.”

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Trumped by Halloween, Easter is the nation's second biggest candy holiday.
Knecht said, in the past, he has worked in Salt Lake City and Sandy, but has seen more candy sold in Provo.

“I think [this is] because of BYU students,” he said.

Brady Johnson, a sophomore from Denver studying exercise science, loves to celebrate Halloween, but his favorite holiday season to buy candy is Easter.

“Halloween candy is the same as normal candy, just sold in mass quantities, but Easter candy is unique.” Johnson said. “I like after Easter because that’s when everything goes on sale and I get the most candy. My favorite Easter candy is the mini chocolate Cadbury eggs. They are very creamy.”

Kyle Kent, a sophomore from Riverside, Calif., majoring in exercise science, said Easter is also his favorite season to buy candy.

“In my mind, there are three main seasons for candy purchase: Halloween, Valentines Day, and Easter,” Kent said. “Halloween candy scares me. I can’t say that I have always enjoyed Singles Awareness Day (SAD) and the last thing anyone wants is edible reminders of their social romantic status or the lack thereof. Easter Candy is just so bright and inviting, you just can’t get enough.”

Kent loves to stock up on Easter candy, and would agree with The Daily Universe polls on the best Easter candy.

“My favorite Easter candy would definitely have to be the Reese’s peanut butter eggs,” he said. “They only show up for Easter. They are like peanut butter cups on P90X, jacked out of their mind with smooth peanuty chocolate goodness, and a great source of protein . . . I think.”

Candy has found its way into the homes of many American families as a traditional add-in for Easter baskets.

“Every Easter Sunday when [my siblings and I] wake up we find that there is a basket of Easter candy for each person in the family. Somehow Dad’s always ends up way overstuffed . . . Every year, I help him secretly alleviate the pressure by removing all Twix and a few Reese’s eggs, but not too many, otherwise he will become suspicious of my act of kindness.”

Kelly Morris, a junior from Las Vegas majoring in family studies, said her family has a similar basket tradition, but they have to work to get their candy.

“The ‘Easter Bunny’ would always hide our baskets with our candy in it somewhere in the house and we would have to find it,” Morris said. “One of my favorite hiding places was one year I found my basket in the dryer. My family has specific candies we [purchase] for every Easter which I absolutely love; including solid bunnies, peeps, chocolates, Starburst jelly beans and egg-shaped gum. My favorite is the solid milk chocolate eggs because they’re perfectly bite sized and melt in your mouth but don’t melt too fast so you can savor them.”