NCA Report Takes a Look at Seasonal Confectionary Consumers

The National Confectioners Association identifies seasonal trends and the shoppers behind them.

November 16, 2023

Sixty-four percent of total candy sales are made during four seasons—Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and the winter holidays—according to a National Confectioners Association (NCA) report. In its latest report, Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate and Candy Consumers, the NCA found that chocolate and candy that is specifically seasonal in its packaging or flavor represents 18% of total candy sales, excluding gum and mints.

The report states that the reason seasonal chocolate and candy drives confectionary sales is because consumers view the treats as a key part of their celebrations.

“Seasonal treating is deeply rooted in tradition and elicits memories of happy times, sharing with loved ones and an unmatched feeling of nostalgia,” John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said. “Given the important role that chocolate and candy play in the seasons, it’s no surprise that the category enjoys a high rate of permissibility, with 96% of U.S. consumers in agreement that it is perfectly fine to enjoy some treats during the holidays. Even in challenging economic times, consumers are celebrating and making room in their budgets for the affordable luxury of chocolate and candy.”

The NCA conducted the survey in August 2023 and surveyed 1,604 consumers. Of those consumers, 94% agreed that seasonal chocolate and candy are part of great memories. These memories can nurture emotional well-being, which was deemed equally as important as physical health by 95% of Americans, according to the report.

Given the importance of emotional well-being and seasonal chocolate and candy’s strong ties to fun and happy memories, 96% agree that it is perfectly fine to treat during the holidays.

The survey found that older shoppers are unlikely to look to c-stores when it comes to seasonal chocolate and candy, with just 2% of Baby Boomers shopping the channel for seasonal treats. However, 26% of Gen Z respondents said they shop c-stores for seasonal treats.

Read more on seasonal sales in convenience stores in the Convenience Corner blog post “It’s the Season for Seasonal Sales.”