According to industry research firm IBISWorld, consumers are expected to spend less on Easter candy this year. This decrease in spending is forecasted to result in the decline of overall sales by 10.2%, compared to a decline of 7.1% in 2008.

“Although candy sales are expected to decline greatly, the forecast could have been much worse had it not been for the holiday’s calendar date,” said George Van Horn, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Easter occurs 20 days later than last year, so candy producers and marketers have additional days to merchandise their products. This will cushion some of the inevitable blow on spending.”

Of the Easter sales, IBISWorld predicts that 65% of adults will purchase milk chocolate, while 27% will buy dark chocolate. It also notes that consumers will purchase 16 billion jelly beans and 700 million marshmallow Peeps during the Easter season.

Additionally, the firm estimates that 55% of all Easter confectionery sales in 2009 will come from supermarkets, 18% will come from chocolatiers and specialty confectionery retailers, and the rest will be made up by big box retailers, discount, convenience stores and online sales.