Easter could prove to be an “egg-cellent” opportunity for food gifting companies, says new research by Packaged Facts.
The Rockville, Md.-based market research firm predicts food gift sales will approach $20 billion in 2018, up four percent over last year. In the sixth edition of “Food Gifting in the U.S.: Consumer and Corporate,” Packaged Facts says the market benefits from consumers giving food gifts to others — as well as to themselves — across a variety of occasions, ranging from anniversaries to graduations to birthdays. 
Among seasonal holidays, winter holidays such as Christmas remain a food gifting mainstay: more than half of those who have purchased food gifts for others in the last 12 months have done so for the winter holidays. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are also popular food gifting holidays. 
Roughly 26 million consumers — 20 percent of food gifters — gave food gifts to others during Easter, putting the holiday just below Father’s Day in terms of participation. Food gifting companies are eager to expand into Easter, which has proven to be a holiday during which consumers are willing to spend. Those celebrating Easter last year spent an estimated $18 billion on products spanning eight categories, including candy, gifts, food and flowers, with $152 spent per celebrant. Food and candy comprised more than $6 billion of consumers’ Easter spending.
Further, 81 percent of adults age 18 and older, 205 million people, celebrated Easter in 2017, almost eight times as many who have purchased an Easter food gift for someone. This suggests that there is a substantial untapped market for food gift companies to target.
Packaged Facts also suggests for holidays such as Easter with religious roots, food gifting marketers can adapt to shifts in religious affiliations over time. For example, the percentage of adults identifying as Christian Church Disciples of Christ has grown 11 percent during the 2008-2017 period, and growth among non-Christian groups has also been strong. Conversely, some 22 percent of adults say they have no religious preference, up 40 percent during 2008-2017. These trends provide opportunity to target accordingly.
Packaged Facts also advises marketing products to adults as well as kids. For example,Green & Blacks has targeted adults with its Fairtrade Organic Easter Tasting Collection
“Food gifting marketers need to continue inventing and reinventing food gifts and to keep a watchful eye for ways to broaden holiday-related purchase rationales,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.