Halloween may boast the biggest sales of holiday candy, but Easter isn't far behind. According to the National Retail Federation, at least $2 billion a year is spent on Easter candy. The average person spends $28 on Easter candy each year. Here are the candies that buyers (and chocolate companies!) love most at this time of year.
Chocolate bunnies equal big money! According to the National Confectioners Association, more than 90 million chocolate bunnies are sold for Easter each year. This makes the chocolate bunny the No. 1-selling Easter candy.
Mark Schlott, VP of operations at R.M. Palmer told Smithsonian magazine that hollow chocolate bunnies were created because biting into a rock-solid chunk of chocolate might break your teeth. (Of course, it’s also cheaper to produce hollow candy!)
Here’s a weird fact: 89 percent of folks eat a chocolate bunny's ears first, 6 percent try the feet first and 5 percent bite off the bunny’s tail.
While Americans love their chocolate bunnies, Brits prefer chocolate eggs, with 80 million eggs sold in the U.K. at Easter. Why eggs? Easter Sunday’s date used to be based on the vernal equinox, which is the first day of Spring. The season represents fertility, so Easter came to be represented by symbols like eggs and bunnies. Other stories say that Easter eggs became popular in the 13th century because the consumption of eggs was forbidden during Lent. To celebrate the end of Lent, people would decorate eggs and give them to their friends and family.
Jelly beans and their origins
According to the Jelly Belly Company, of the 16 billion jelly beans sold each year in the U.S., 5 billion are sold during Easter. Jelly beans are said to have been inspired from Turkish Delight, the Middle Eastern sweet made of soft jelly. Americans molded the sweet and gave it a hard shell to create the jelly bean.
Let's not forget about peeps, peeps! Each Easter season, enough of these marshmallow chicks are sold to span the Earth’s circumference more than once!
Fun fact: According to Business Daily, in 1953, it took 27 hours to create one Peeps marshmallow chick. Today, thanks to advances in technology, it takes six minutes. Just Born, the company that makes the candy, makes 4.2 million Peeps a day in its Bethlehem, Pa., factory.
Have a happy Easter folk! And remember, chocolate bunnies aren't just for kids!