Seasonal chocolate and candy drive confectionery sales as consumers view these treats as a key part of their celebrations, according to the National Confectioners Association, in a new report. The report found that 64% of total chocolate and candy sales are attributed to the big four seasons—Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and the winter holidays—which allows for merchandising opportunities that ensure that confectionery products continue to enhance special occasions and that the category remains strong year-round.

NCA’s new report, Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate & Candy Consumers, offers an in-depth look at the trends, attitudes, and behaviors related to confectionery treating during the four main seasonal moments, as well as secondary seasons and micro-occasions like Mother’s Day and back-to-school. The report also explores innovation and merchandising opportunities for manufacturers and retailers related to introducing new seasonal products to shoppers—especially important since 88% of consumers report that they like to see new items when browsing for seasonal chocolate and candy.

“Seasonal treating is deeply rooted in tradition and elicits memories of happy times, sharing with loved ones and an unmatched feeling of nostalgia,” John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said. “Given the important role that chocolate and candy play in the seasons, it’s no surprise that the category enjoys a high rate of permissibility, with 96% of U.S. consumers in agreement that it is perfectly fine to enjoy some treats during the holidays. Even in challenging economic times, consumers are celebrating and making room in their budgets for the affordable luxury of chocolate and candy.”

94% of Americans say that seasonal treats help to create memories, which means that the time-honored tradition of sharing a little bit of confectionery is an important consideration for consumers when they purchase chocolate and candy. Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate & Candy Consumers shares key insights for confectionery manufacturers and retailers as they consider the future of seasonal treating, including identifying the opportunities to ensure that Gen Z and Millennials build the same emotional connections to chocolate and candy as older generations.

The full Getting to Know Seasonal Chocolate & Candy Consumers report is available to NCA member companies and retailers at, and key insights from the research can be found in the report’s executive summary.