In the immortal words of the great Iggy Pop, “Candy, Candy, Candy, I can’t let you go. All my life you’re haunting me, I love you so.”
Around Eastertime, the majority of the Christian world finds itself having trouble with the sweet stuff. Come Easter morning, millions of children, and some adults indulging in a guilty pleasure, tear open the wrappers of oodles of candy.
According to reports by the National Confectioners Association, candy companies generated $3.2 billion in revenue from candy sales last year, earning $328 million in Eastertime sales alone.
“Easter is our second biggest holiday behind Christmas,” said Audrey Campbell, assistant manager of Peppermint Place in Provo. “Our sales go up 200 percent during Eastertime.”
Utah is the home of many different candy companies such as Kara, Sweets, Cummings and Mrs. Cavanaugh. Why is Utah such a sweet spot?
“The average person eats 25 pounds of candy a year,” said Mike Richards, vice president of sales and marketing for Kara Signature Chocolates in Orem. “Utahns consume over 30 pounds of candy a year. It is the highest, per capita, in the United States.”
Richards said Kara distributes 100,000 pounds of candy during Easter and uses some 60,000 pounds of chocolate.
Trends in the United States show candy consumption is on the rise. The confectioners report states that sales were up 21.5 percent in the month of January alone. In the last 3 years, candy sales have increased 6.2 percent.
The candy counter at the BYU bookstore is always a hot spot no matter what time of year it is. However, according to Gordon Brown, specialty area manager for the bookstore, the later in the year Easter falls, the worse business it does.
“Students don’t think to buy candy or gifts during their finals,” Brown said. “When Easter fell on April 12 last year, sales were down 15 percent from the previous year when Easter was at the end of March.”
Jaimie Kent, an employee at the candy counter, said approximately 20 percent of its Easter stock is left over after the season. That candy is then sold for between 50-70 percent off the original price.
The bookstore’s most popular candy this year is the mini-Robin egg, made by Whopper. Exact sales numbers were unavailable for printing. It seems there are some things the Candy Man can’t do.