Chicago — Ferrara Candy Co., Inc. says it expects the 2021 Easter season to be its best yet, with the majority of sales coming in the two weeks leading into the holiday.
“Most of our retail partners have taken their Easter shipments earlier than usual, signaling customer and consumer optimism for the season. In fact, we project 2021 to be one of our best Easter seasons yet, and that’s saying something considering our sales have grown year over year for the past five years,” says Mariah Havens, director of seasonal confections at Ferrara.
“We also know that unique innovations and exclusive product offerings help bring consumers into the store,” she says. “As we’ve seen an increased consumer desire for seasonal items outside of the traditional selling season, we worked with our retail partners to ensure they had product on the floor as early as possible — shipping product four to six weeks ahead of the season, which we anticipate is a trend that will continue for future seasons. In late February, consumers were already finding Easter offerings on shelves in major retailers nationwide.”
The company is rolling out seven additions to its portfolio of springtime candy and cookies aimed at virtual egg hunts and creative activities celebrating the season.
“With many families celebrating Easter at home this year, Ferrara’s seasonal portfolio includes a variety of fun and innovative options for any activity, like our new digital jelly bean art tutorials using our Classic Jelly Bird Eggs,” says Havens. “From Brach’s Rainbow Sparkle Jelly Bird Eggs to Nerds Easter-themed Treat Size Ropes and Black Forest Spring Snacks, there’s something for every Easter basket.
“In the past year, we’ve noticed an increase in ecommerce shopping among consumers,” adds Havens. “While we’ve seen an increase in the amount of product being used for ecommerce, it has not diluted the inventory for other channels. In fact, it indicates a shift from retailers to adapt to consumer behaviors.”
Jelly beans are a staple of the season and Ferrara is adding three varieties to its lineup:
- Brach’s Rainbow Sparkle Jelly Bird Eggs: Brightly colored, shiny, shimmery jelly bird eggs in grape, lemon, lime, orange, blue raspberry and cherry.
- Brach’s All Reds Jelly Bird Eggs: An assortment of cherry, strawberry, raspberry and watermelon.
- Brach’s Milk Chocolate Jelly Bird Egg Mix: Cherry, raspberry and strawberry jelly beans covered in milk chocolate and mixed with non-covered jelly beans.
“We found that a majority of 2020 Easter baskets had nine or more candy treats included and consumers are looking for a variety of treat options beyond classic jelly beans that also take note of consumers’ changing tastes and general cultural trends,” says Havens.
Ferrara is expanding its seasonal cookie portfolio with limited-batch Mother’s Springtime Circus Animal Cookies in chick, duckling, bunny and butterfly shapes covered in yellow and white icing and topped with sprinkles.
Black Forest Spring Snacks are also new. The gluten- and fat-free fruit snacks come in flower, duck and bunny shapes in assorted flavors including pineapple, strawberry, raspberry and watermelon.
New Easter Nerds Treat Size Ropes are individually wrapped in spring-themed bright green bags that hold the pastel-hued mini Nerds candies.
To round out the line, Crushed Lemonheads Candy is available exclusively at Walmart stores.
“Even though Easter looks different this year, we predict that Easter candy will still be at the forefront of at-home celebrations — we’ve noted that candy is not only ‘recession proof’ but also ‘pandemic proof,’ helping spread joy and create new memories for all kinds of activities,” says Havens.