Holiday Snack Trends

November 1, 2013

Love it or hate it, everyone knows the day after Halloween is the official countdown start to the holiday season. Snacks are an integral part of holiday celebrations, accounting for a large percentage of sales for the year. Half of U.S. adults who celebrate Christmas buy candy for the holiday, with 54% of these consumers buying it for themselves or families and 44% buying candy for gifting, according to an NPD Group survey.

The top-selling seasonal candy is:

1. Holiday/seasonal chocolate candy (With over half of sales)
2. Candy canes
3. Snack-size chocolate bars
4. Gift box chocolates
5. Seasonal/holiday non-chocolate candy

The survey finds chips ranking as the second most commonly purchased Christmas snack (bought by 38% of adults), followed by fruit (36%) and crackers and nuts (each at 31%).

It’s important to uncover opportunities to boost sales during the key holiday season….When your revenue goals center around bursts of holiday purchasing and snacking, you have to know what consumers want and the motivations behind their behavior. You don’t want to miss out on a single opportunity during these important selling periods.

Impulse is the prime driver for 15% of snack purchases. The sense of urgency when something is only available for a limited time helps to drive sales. Particularly seasonal snacks that your consumers are already familiar with and look forward to buying again each year.

Women tend to gravitate to the seasonal sections of stores to buy candy for the holidays, whereas men favor the regular candy section. In addition to traditional seasonal displays, shoppers tend to be drawn to in-story displays with an emotional component. The holidays are a sentimental season and displays illustrating family and friend relationships tend to have higher sales.

Don’t forget that in addition to holiday snacking, 45% of people bake holiday treats. Be sure to stock up on your cooking and baking ingredients too.

For more info on holiday snacking and products, visit

Tags: candy, christmas, holiday trends, nuts, snacks, tropical foods

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