Numerator has published findings from an Easter 2022 consumer sentiment study to understand consumer celebration and shopping intentions, as well as inflation and COVID-19 impacts on the Easter holiday. 

This Easter will be the first major holiday since the onset of the pandemic where over half of consumers (61 percent) do not expect COVID-19 to impact their celebrations, but inflation and product shortage concerns remain high, with 75 percent of consumers reporting concern for each. 

While food and candy top the list of planned Easter purchases, nearly the same number of consumers plan to buy alcohol (25 percent) as those who plan to buy toys or games (27 percent).

Other key findings include:

Easter is a widespread holiday that over-indexes with older generations and Northeastern consumers. More than 4 in 5 consumers (84 percent) expect to celebrate Easter this year, with Boomers+ and Northeastern consumers even more likely to celebrate (88 percent and 90 percent, respectively). 

Family gatherings are returning as COVID concerns subside. Among those who intend to celebrate, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) say they will gather with family and friends, a 22-point increase from the 42 percent who said the same in 2021. 

Easter travel is back to pre-pandemic levels. More than 1 in 10 consumers (11 percent) say they will travel for Easter 2022, up from 2 percent of consumers for Easter 2021 and surpassing pre-COVID norms (10 percent).

In addition to gatherings and travel, 42 percent of consumers plan to cook or bake for Easter, 31 percent will attend a religious service, 26 percent will decorate their homes or give gifts, 19 percent will attend a party or grill out, and 11 percent plan to dine out.

Nearly all Easter celebrators plan to make purchases for the holiday. 97 percent of consumers say they will make an Easter purchase, including food (76 percent of consumers), candy (68 percent), gifts (34 percent), toys/games (27 percent), decorations (27 percent), alcoholic beverages (25 percent), apparel (16 percent), and party supplies (14 percent). 

Reese’s is the top candy brand choice among Easter buyers. More than two-thirds (68 percent) plan to buy Reese’s this year, followed by M&M’S (57 percent), Hershey’s (56 percent), Peeps (44 percent), and Cadbury (42 percent). More than half (55 percent) of Easter candy shoppers plan to buy at least one brand of jelly beans. 

Consumers continue their return to in-store shopping, with mass and grocery channels poised to win Easter 2022. Nearly 9 in 10 consumers (88 percent) say they will shop in-store for Easter 2022, and 32 percent expect to make at least one purchase online. With 61 percent of consumers planning to shop at mass (Big Box) retailers and 60 percent at grocery stores, these two channels are poised to capture the majority of Easter 2022 spend.

Amazon is the online retailer of choice for Easter. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of consumers plan to buy on, compared to (16 percent) and (12 percent). 

Brands can capture almost half of Easter spend in the week leading up to Easter. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of Easter shoppers plan to shop one week in advance, 10 percent plan to shop 1-2 days in advance, and 1 percent plan to shop on Easter itself.

Inflation is top of mind for the majority of Easter shoppers and more pronounced for those with financial hardships. Three-quarters (75 percent) of consumers expect inflation to impact their Easter shopping, with 18 percent expecting a significant impact. Among consumers who reported a worsening financial situation in 2022, 33 percent expect a significant inflation impact – 15 points higher than the average Easter shopper.

Consumers will make tradeoffs and shift shopping habits in response to rising prices. Nearly half (48 percent) say they will search for promotions and coupons, 41 percent will reduce the number of items they purchase, 34 percent will switch to lower-priced brands, 31 percent will shop earlier than usual to find better bargains, 30 percent will shop at multiple retailers to find the best deals, and 30 percent will research prices prior to shopping. Fewer than one in 10 (7 percent) say inflation will not affect their shopping. 

Consumers are bracing for supply chain disruptions. Three-quarters (75 percent) of consumers say they are expecting Easter product shortages, with 10 percent expecting the impact to be significant. 

Numerator’s 2022 Easter survey was fielded between March 25-29, 2022 among 1,272 consumers.