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Sweet Easter Facts

$2.1 billion of Easter candy bought

by David Johnson
Jellybeans

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Easter is the second most important candy-eating occasion of the year for Americans, who consumed 7 billion pounds of candy in 2011, according to the National Confectioner's Association.

  • In 2012, Americans spent nearly $2.1 billion on Easter candy, while Halloween sales were over $2 billion; Christmas, more than $1.4 billion; and Valentine's Day, over $1 billion.
  • Ninety million chocolate Easter bunnies are produced each year.
  • Chocolate bunnies should be eaten ears first, according to 76% of Americans. Five percent said bunnies should be eaten feet first, while 4% favored eating the tail first.
  • Adults prefer milk chocolate (65%), to dark chocolate (27%).
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest Easter egg ever made was just over 25 ft high and made of chocolate and marshmallow. The egg weighed 8,968 lbs. and was supported by an internal steel frame.

Millions of Peeps

  • Each Easter season, Americans buy more than 700 million Marshmallow Peeps, shaped like chicks, as well as Marshmallow Bunnies and Marshmallow Eggs, making them the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy.
  • As many as 5 million Marshmallow Peeps, bunnies, and other shapes are made each day in preparation for Easter.
  • In 1953, it took 27 hours to create a Marshmallow Peep. Today it takes six minutes.
  • Yellow Peeps are the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue, and white.

Jellybeans Could Circle the Globe

  • Americans consume 16 billion jellybeans at Easter, many of them hidden in baskets. If all the Easter jellybeans were lined end to end, they would circle the globe nearly three times.
  • Jellybeans did not become an Easter tradition until the 1930s. They were probably first made in America by Boston candy maker William Schrafft, who ran advertisements urging people to send jellybeans to soldiers fighting in the Civil War.
  • 70% of kids aged 6–11 say they prefer to eat Easter jellybeans one at a time, while 23% report eating several at once. Boys (29%) were more apt to eat a handful than girls (18%).
  • Children indicate their favorite Easter jellybean flavors are cherry (20%), strawberry (12%), grape (10%), lime (7%), and blueberry (6%).

Increasing Demand

  • Candy makers are offering more and more Easter products. In the early 1980s, M&M's became available in pastel spring colors. Reese's makes peanut butter eggs, and Smucker's produces jellybeans.
  • Some supermarkets have doubled the space allotted to Easter candy in the past few years as the market has increased.
  • Candy is a relatively recent Easter tradition. Chocolate eggs, the most popular Easter candy, were first made in Europe in the early 1800s.

Older Traditions

  • Hot cross buns were among the earliest Easter treats, made by European monks and given to the poor during Lent.
  • Pretzels were originally associated with Easter. The twists of a pretzel were thought to resemble arms crossed in prayer.

Non-Candy Substitutes

  • For parents worried that their children might eat too much Easter candy, some experts suggest adding non-edible items to Easter baskets: crayons, movie passes, jump rope, baseball cards, kids' videos, stencils, markers, paperback books, chalk, Playdoh, stuffed animals or balls.

Sources: National Confectioner's Association, Just Born, Inc., World Book Encyclopedia, www.infoplease.com






Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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The oldest president inaugurated was Reagan (age 69); the youngest was Kennedy (age 43).

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