While Thanksgiving and the other winter holidays are a booming time for the food and beverage industry, the end of winter does not mean industry profits need to take a nosedive. Spring is a great time to measure the effects of a bloated winter that is full of holiday cheer, as it follows into a lull in spending for the first few months of the year. By looking at the effects that the spring holidays (Spring Festival, Passover, Easter, etc.) have on consumer spending in the food industry, it can be seen that people still have an appetite for spending and eating. However, the winter freeze may not leave us completely open to using our wallets.
Food gift basket giving of chocolate bunnies, and eggs, is responsible for a $20 billion dollar a year industry, with 20 percent of this amount being given around the Easter holiday. This follows Father’s Day in terms of the biggest day of the year for food gifting. Considering the spawn of thousands of new basket giving websites like Dollar Shave Club, we can only anticipate this industry will grow.
Of course, Easter would not be Easter without candy to go along with these baskets. Unfortunately, while the package gift industry appears to be selling well, overall candy sales appear to be stagnant as we saw Americans shelling out $18.2 billion on Easter purchases as compared to $18.4 billion in 2017. Of this, $5.7 billion will be spent on food, with $2.6 billion on candy. In addition, egg prices and supply have been unstable throughout the year, with prices jumping 37 percent year over year and production remaining flat (3-4 percent increases), while U.S. exports of eggs have grown substantially. These volatile changes in the marketplace make it difficult to predict future trends and supply for the coming holidays.
All of this does not spell doom for Easter and the rest of 2018, though, as 2017 was a record breaking year for the general economy as well as consumer spending, and a little bit of backlash from record profits is to be expected. If there is anything to take from the endless hunt for greater information, it is that food and beverage companies can rely on Easter to liven up the bottom line, if not grow it into a nicer nest egg.