With Easter arriving three weeks later than the 2016 holiday, consumers are expected to spend a record amount on candy, food and clothing, says a new survey sponsored by the National Retail Federation.
The survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, projects U.S. consumers will shell out $18.4 billion ahead of April 16, up 6 percent from last year’s record of $17.3 billion. Easter arrived on March 27 last year, only a week after the start of spring.
Given the longer shopping window, consumers are expected to spend more on an individual basis. Those celebrating plan to drop an average of $152 per person, up 4 percent from last year’s record of $146.
“Most consumers have almost an entire extra month to shop for Easter this year, and by the time the holiday comes the weather should be significantly warmer than last Easter,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “That should put shoppers in the frame of mind to splurge on spring apparel along with Easter decorations. With the economy improving, consumers are ready to shop and retailers are ready to offer great deals.”
Nearly 89 percent of the 7,411 consumers surveyed said they’d buy candy. As a result, candy sales are projected to hit $2.6 billion, up from $2.4 billion last year.
Food sales, meanwhile, are expected to reach $5.8 billion, up from $5.5 billion last year. Nearly 90 percent of consumers said they’d buy food, and more than half said they’d prepare a special meal.
Half of the survey respondents said they’d buy clothing. Accordingly, consumers are expected to pony up $3.3 billion on Easter apparel, the highest amount in a decade and 9 percent more than last year.
“Easter continues to be a traditional holiday for consumers of all ages, especially young families who are planning to spend a bit more for this celebration,” says Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “With the later timing of Easter, we will see more consumers shopping for special deals, especially on apparel and decorations.”
Consumers will celebrate Easter in several different ways. Just over 60 percent will visit family and friends, 52 percent will go to church and 17 percent will go to a restaurant. A third of consumers will have an Easter egg hunt, and 16 percent of consumers surveyed will open gifts. 
Candy is often the go-to option for filling up Easter eggs and baskets. Mars, Hershey, Ethel M Chocolates and Dylan’s Candy Bar have released lineups of Easter and spring-themed items.
McLean, Va.
(800) 222-0293
  • DOVE Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs: The latest addition to the Mars Shapes portfolio, this new item delivers peanut butter flavor in an iconic shape of the season. S.R.P.: $0.79
  • M&M’S White Chocolate Candies: Popular for Easter baskets, candy bowls and egg hunts, M&M’S Candies are available in white chocolate. S.R.P. (8-oz. laydown bag): $3.49
  • M&M’S Peanut Butter Speckled Eggs sharing size: After positive response to a 1.3-oz. package in 2016, M&M’S Peanut Butter Eggs will be available in a larger sharing size. S.R.P. (2.83 oz.) $1.50 
  • DOVE Chocolate Springtime Variety stand-up pouch: This is the first DOVE Chocolate variety bag offered for the Easter season! It contains three favorites: DOVE Milk Chocolate Eggs, DOVE Dark Chocolate Eggs and new DOVE Caramel & Milk Chocolate Flowers PROMISES. S.R.P. (22.6 oz.): $9.99
  • Marshmallow Mix Variety laydown bag: The 9.39-oz. bag is loaded with light and airy Milky Way Marshmallow Minis and 3 Musketeers Marshmallow Minis. S.R.P.: $3.99
Hershey, Pa.
(800) 468-1714
  • Cadbury Mini Crème Egg assortment: Consumers having trouble picking their favorite Cadbury Mini Eggs won’t have to worry anymore. The Cadbury Mini Crème Egg assortment includes Cadbury Mini Crème Eggs and Cadbury Mini Caramel Eggs. S.R.P.: (4.4-oz. bag) $3.50
  • Cadbury Chocolate Crunch & Crème Mini Eggs: This Easter season, a new tasty addition comes to the lineup of Cadbury Mini Egg Flavors — Chocolate Crunch & Crème. Available at Target. S.R.P. (9-oz.): $4.39
  • Hershey-Ets Pastel Cane: These candy-coated milk chocolates are available in two colors. S.R.P. (1.4-oz.) $1
  • Hershey’s Kisses Carrot Cake Candies: A classic Easter dessert now comes bite-sized. Hershey’s Kisses Carrot Cake Candies capture the taste of carrot cake in just one Hershey’s Kiss. Now available nationally in 7-oz. and 9-oz. bags. S.R.P.: $4.39
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Eggs: These creamy marshmallow-filled eggs are covered in smooth milk chocolate. Available in 3.9-oz. and 5.4-oz. bags. S.R.P.: $4.39
  • Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans Cane: Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans’ vibrant Easter colors are available outside the candy dish and in a fun cane, sure to stand out in any Easter basket. S.R.P. (1.4 oz.): $1
  • Kisses Deluxe Easter Bunny gift box: These hazelnut-filled Kisses Deluxe Candies displayed in a bunny-shaped box make for the perfect Easter gift. S.R.P. (4.63 oz.): $7.99
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Bunny: This bunny has a signature Reese’s peanut butter filling, making for a great Easter Basket stuffer. S.R.P. (1.2 oz.): $1
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Crème Egg: An Easter favorite comes to life this season with the Reese’s Peanut Butter 3-D Egg. This three-dimensional egg is filled with Reese’s signature Peanut Butter and covered in creamy milk chocolate. Available at Walmart in a 1.2-oz. pack and a 6-oz. 5-pack. S.R.P. (1.2 oz.) $0.74
  • Reese’s Gold Eggs: These eye-catching eggs will make finding them in Easter egg hunts even sweeter. Available at Target. S.R.P. (10 oz.): $4.39 
  • Reese’s White Peanut Butter Eggs: A reinvented fan favorite hits shelves this Easter. Reese’s White Peanut Butter Eggs provide the sweet taste of Reese’s signature peanut butter, dipped in a delicious white crème. Available at Walmart. S.R.P. (10.8 oz): $4.39
  • Reese’s King Size White Peanut Butter Eggs: A must-have this Easter season has been made over in a big way. The Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg is now available in a delicious white crème. S.R.P. (2.4 oz.) $1.88
New York City, N.Y.
(866) 939-5267
  • Easter 2017 Signature tackle box: Art, color and candy collide in this assortment of Easter treats. The 18.8-oz. box has foil-wrapped eggs, gummy carrots and other treats. S.R.P.: $28
  • Livin’ Large Easter Bar: Take your Easter from good to great with the Livin’ Large Milk Chocolate bar. It contains crispy rice for added texture. S.R.P. (9.2 oz.): $14
  • “Color Me Hoppy” Milk Chocolate Bar: This 2-oz. bar has sea salt and caramel for a ton of yummy dips and gooey drips. S.R.P.: $3.25
  • “A Sweet Egg To Crack” Kiddie Mix: This fillable egg contains mini baby chocolate foiled bunnies, pastel Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, pastel Hershey Kisses, mini Tootsie Roll eggs, mini Original Gourmet lollipops and banana Laffy Taffy. S.R.P.: $10
  • "You’re Ear-isistable" Bag: Featuring bunny ears, this 4.5-oz. bag is filled with gourmet speckled jelly beans. S.R.P.: $7 


Ethel M Chocolates
Henderson, Nev.
(800) 438-4356

  • Peanut Butter Egg Collection: Treat yourself or loved ones with this 8-piece collection including four milk and four dark egg-shaped chocolates filled with creamy peanut butter. S.R.P.: $24.99
  • Fresh-Picked Fruit Egg Collection: With this spring-inspired selection, enjoy eight pieces of sweet, creamy-centered chocolates infused with strawberry and raspberry fillings. S.R.P.: $24.99
  • Hoppy Easter Basket: Enjoy 24 pieces of the Classic Brittle, 12 creamy Satin Crèmes, four mint dark chocolate bars, milk chocolate pecan packs and one pecan caramel apple. It's a great gift to share with the entire family. S.R.P.: $99.99