Visions of sugar plums and other candies are dancing in the heads of not only children, but adults too during the winter holiday season, according to a holiday snacking report by The NPD Group, an information and advisory services company.
The report finds that 50 percent of adults, out of a sample of 4,906 adults celebrating Christmas, purchase candy for the holidays and 54 percent of these sweet-snacking adults intend to eat it or for their family to eat it.
Overall, candy ranks number one as the top snack item purchased for the holidays, according to NPD’s research, which looks at consumers’ activities, purchase behavior, and attitudes surrounding Christmas. After candy, in descending order of popularity, are: chips, purchased by 38 percent of adults; fresh fruit, purchased by 36 percent of adults; and crackers and nuts, each purchased by 31 percent of adults.
In addition to eating it themselves, 44 percent of adults bought candy to give as a gift, and the remainder purchased candy for holiday entertaining and other activities. When it comes to the type of candy consumed, 51 percent of candy eaters consume seasonal/holiday chocolate candy. Candy canes are a next favorite followed, in descending order, by snack-size chocolate candy bars, gift box chocolates, and seasonal/holiday non-chocolate candy.
Candy shoppers break the traditional rule of shopping from lists during the holiday season, according to the NPD Christmas snacking report. Impulse is identified as the premier driver for 15 percent of candy/treat purchases and impulse candy shopping happens everywhere. Women and men vary where they shop in the store for candy. Women gravitated to the seasonal section for candy shopping whereas men favored the regular candy section.
“Whether it’s stockings stuffed with chocolates or candy canes dangling from the Christmas tree, candy is a top holiday food tradition,” says Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst. “The winter holiday period offers manufacturers and retailers incredible potential for growth, and an opportunity to differentiate brands and drive additional sales by understanding consumers’ attitudes and behaviors related candy.”
NPD’s findings were based on information collected in two custom surveys conducted prior to Christmas 2011, December 7- 23, 2011, and post-holiday, December 28, 2011-January 17, 2012. The pre-holiday survey captures attitudes and intentions with respect to holiday plans; the post-holiday survey captures consumer behaviors as well as attitudes, shopping behaviors, motivations, and consumption of snack-oriented treats after Christmas has passed. The total sample for both surveys included: 7,066 adults, 18+; 1,710 teens, 13-17; 2,622, kids, 2-12.