The Easter season continues to be a key moment for candy consumers, generating more than $5 billion in sales in 2022, according to Washington D.C.-based NCA’s 2023 State of Treating report. This represents an increase of more than 9% over 2021, largely driven by consumer enthusiasm for seasonal confectionery gifting.
Eighty-four percent of Americans say they plan to celebrate the 2023 Easter season by sharing or gifting some kind of confectionery treat, said the report.
“The Easter season is a welcome spot in the calendar year as people throughout the country seek out opportunities to celebrate with their friends, family and loved ones,” said John Downs, NCA president and CEO. “Consumers are eager to incorporate chocolate and candy into their seasonal celebrations, especially as confectionery products remain an affordable luxury in challenging times.”
Click ahead for Easter treats from four candy brands …
Mars Inc., Newark, New Jersey, revealed that its Easter lineup includes a limited-edition flavor, M&M'S White Chocolate Marshmallow Crispy Treat, alongside beloved seasonal classics from Skittles, Starburst, Dove and M&M's.
“At Mars, we know core seasonal moments, like Easter, are an important occasion as people come together to celebrate with friends and family,” said Tim LeBel, president of sales at Mars Wrigley. “Mars is focused on delighting shoppers with products that have become holiday traditions, while also introducing them to new seasonal flavor combinations, delivering moments of happiness with our products at the center of consumer celebrations.”
M&M's White Chocolate Marshmallow Crispy Treat has a rice crisp center coated with rich white chocolate in pastel-colored candy shells. It is available at retailers nationwide throughout the season.
Mars returning Easter offerings include:
- Dove Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Bunnies & Egg shapes
- Skittles Jellybeans and Starburst Original Jellybeans
- M&M's Minis Milk Chocolate Candy Easter Tubes and M&M's Milk Chocolate Easter Canes
- M&M's Pastel Milk Chocolate and Peanut Candies
This Easter season, Mars factories across the country will be donating candy to local organizations to support celebrations and spread joy to all those taking part in the fun, the company said.
Hershey has a new and returning lineup of Easter treats, available for a limited time this season:
- Cadbury Rainbow Mini Eggs (7 or 8-ounce bags): Eggs come in red, orange, yellow, green and blue and are are made from Cadbury milk chocolate with a crisp sugar shell.
- Almond Joy Snack Size (8.4 or 10.2-ounce bags): New snack-sized coconut and almond milk chocolate candy bars are individually wrapped in pastel seasonal graphics.
- Hershey's Solid Milk Chocolate Eggs Easter Egg-Shaped Gift Box (6.5-ounce box): Gift box includes milk chocolate wrapped in a variety of pastel shades inside a giant egg.
- Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs Easter Egg-Shaped Gift Box (6.5-ounce box): Milk chocolate and peanut butter Reese's eggs are packaged up in the shape of an egg.
- Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milk Chocolate XL Bar (3.5-ounce bar): Chocolate bars come in new colorful flowers and the Cadbury Bunny on display.
- Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramello XL Bar (4-ounce bar): The bar is a new offering from Hershey.
“We've brought back seasonal favorites such as Cadbury Royal Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs and Reese's Peanut Butter Bunnies and introduced familiar delights like snack-sized Almond Joy in brand new festive packaging to assist in filling homes with sweetness this Easter,” said Stephen Tiemeyer, senior associate brand manager of Easter at The Hershey Co. “It's always fun to provide products to help the Easter Bunny stock baskets and for families to make this time of year even more magical!”
Peeps Brand, a Just Born Quality Confections brand based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is partnering with an array of new and returning partners this spring, including Pepsi.
In 2021, Pepsi x Peeps made its debut. It’s back, and the drink combines the taste of Pepsi cola with Peeps Marshmallow flavor. It is now available at retail for the first time for a limited time.
“We are thrilled to be teaming up with so many well-known brands that bring the Peeps Brand to life like never before,” said Caitlin Servian, brand manager for Peeps. “Each year our fans look forward to the tradition of receiving our tasty marshmallow candies in their Easter baskets, and we continue to provide new and innovative ways to celebrate the season with Peeps.”
Brach’s, a Ferrara brand based in Chicago, is introducing globally inspired jellybeans, Desserts of the World. The jellybeans come in five flavors: chocolate macaron, strawberry mochi, churro, apple pie and lemon sorbet.
“Beloved for generations, Brach’s Jelly Beans have played a distinct role in the brand’s nearly 120-year-long legacy of inspiring meaningful connection throughout the seasons with classic favorites,” said Lauren Holtz Pezza, director of Brach’s and seasonal marketing at Ferrara Candy Co. “We’re constantly reviewing emerging flavors and cultural trends. More than ever, consumers are focused on making memories together over adventurous flavors and experiences and we’re excited for our new Desserts of the World Jelly Beans to help satisfy those international cravings in a stress-free way this season.”