It Mom’s Turn To Talk Candy

By Brady Darvin

Moms interviewed by Strottman International reveal the thought processes behind their Easter candy purchases.

With Easter coming up fast on April 8, Strottman International (a custom candy premiums and novelty packaging company) interviewed some of its “Gatekeeper Moms” to understand more about the sweetest part of this holiday — the candy! Following are some quotes right from the mouths of today’s Gen X-aged moms, and, after each, some insights as to what their observations might mean for marketers.

Do you buy Easter candy out of habit or is it an important part of celebrating the holiday for your family?

“It’s an important part of the holiday; that’s what I grew up with, and I want to give my kids the same kind of candy.” —Susan

“We are Christians, and we try to focus more on the religious part of it, but candy is a part of Easter.  I feel guilty that [the candy] is such a big part of the holiday.” — Charm

“I don’t celebrate the religious part of Easter, so to me, the holiday is only about the candy and the basket.” —Jennifer

“My mom always gave us candy and Easter baskets.  I guess it’s a habit, but it’s a habit because candy is part of the celebration of Easter to me.” —Bevin

“It’s not an important part of the holiday, but it’s a fun little tradition. We focus more on the religious aspect of Easter, but the candy is a fun aside.” — Mary

What this means for marketers:
The religious and the non-religious are both viable marketing targets for Easter confections. While it’s likely easier and more efficient to create product and point-of-purchase that generically targets everyone, consider whether there is potential to focus some product and/or in-store displays on one of these audiences.

Besides the candy itself, can you remember buying candy in any interesting Easter packaging (besides a plastic egg)?

“Gumballs that were shaped like eggs that were in a mini egg carton that was like two inches tall.” —Jill

“I got these little M&M guys; they were about three inches in diameter and they were 3D M&M guys with feet and little hats, and you opened up the top and they had mini M&Ms inside of them.  And last year I got little metal tins with a zipper — a nylon zipper on a metal case.” —Mary

“If their baskets are tattered, I’d buy them a new basket.  Or the gold coins in the little net bags.  I try to buy one like Barbie or Hot Wheels egg for each of them or a car filled with candy. Anything that is really cute, I will buy it.” —Charm

What this means for marketers:
Today’s Gen X-aged moms are all about the “cute” factor. They love unusual novelty packages for Easter candy, but most struggled to remember any that really stood out in their minds.  There’s an obvious gap in what these moms are seeing on store shelves around Easter in terms of truly innovative novelty packaging.

What factors impact your candy selection? Do you look for specific brands?

“Some is tradition.  I’m pretty loyal to the Hershey’s eggs and the Peeps.  For novelties, it’s price and packaging — I don’t want to spend a fortune, it’s just a ‘little something;’ nothing is really a ‘keeper.’ I’m very price-sensitive. But then, cheap chocolate is something I do try to avoid, so brands are important, but I’m not willing to go crazy spending money on it.” —Jill

“I always get something with M&Ms, Reese’s, and Peeps —they are must haves because they are a certain kind of candy.  I am a brand person; I don’t ever really buy generic.” —Jennifer

“With some brands, you know you can expect quality and a good taste.  When [a brand I know] makes a product that is special for the holiday, it’s still fun and different, but with the quality, name, and taste you can count on.  For example, I think the pastel M&Ms for Easter are great.” —Bevin

What this means for marketers:
None of the moms we talked to go shopping for Easter candy with a pre-made list in hand. They browse the Easter aisles and, for the most part, look for brands they know and trust.  They are very focused on making sure they get everything they need for their kids’ Easter baskets.

Since the basket is the focus of Mom’s Easter candy shopping, candy marketers could make it easier for her by giving basket-creation suggestions at point-of-purchase, by offering novelty packages that remind moms such items are “perfect for Easter baskets,” and by offering SKUs that are two-packs or three-packs, since this seems to be the number of baskets for which most moms are shopping.

For more information on custom candy premiums/novelty packaging company Strottman International and its “Kid Engineers,” call Jay Zemke at (949) 623-7906 or e-mail