Near-Record Spending Expected This Easter

Easter isle at retail store
Easter isle at retail store | Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Americans are anticipated to spend near-record amounts this Easter, but experts believe spending will be less than in 2023.

“Consumer spending is expected to reach a total of $22.4 billion this Easter, and a majority of Americans (81%) plan to celebrate the holiday in 2024,” the National Retail Foundation said in its annual Easter survey. The NRF has conducted the analysis every year since 2003.

Easter, which falls on March 31 this year, is slated earlier than usual. The date of Easter is determined by the spring equinox. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the equinox. The equinox was on March 19, while the first full moon occurred on March 25.

The NRF survey indicates that candy will be the hottest-selling Easter item, with 89% of consumers purchasing things like chocolate eggs and Peeps. Food is also expected to be purchased specifically for the holiday by 89% of respondents. Inflation and high food prices are likely to drive costs up, including for staples like eggs, as reported by The Dallas Express.

NRF reports that a majority of consumers buy Easter-related items like decor because of the traditions of the holiday. The survey reported that 64% of respondents indicated tradition as the reason they would spend money.

“The overall shopping experience itself also plays a role in purchasing behavior,” said Phil Rist, co-founder and executive vice president of strategy at Prosper Insights & Analytics, which collected data for the analysis. “This year almost one-quarter of consumers said they were inspired to shop for Easter items from store displays and decorations as well as exclusive or seasonal products.”

Interestingly, the report found that a significant number of people who are not planning to celebrate the holiday will still take advantage of Easter-associated deals. Some 55% of such respondents said they anticipate spending an average of $20.52 each.

NRF says that spending this Easter is anticipated to be the third highest-grossing season since the survey began. Americans are expected to spend $177.06 per person. The highest level of spending recorded was in 2023 when consumers spent an average of $192.01. The second-highest year was 2021, in which Americans spent $179.70 on average.

Finance Buzz, an internet company promoting financial transparency, reported in 2023 that high food prices and inflation were predicted to cause a majority of Americans to find less expensive food options for Easter.

“The majority of respondents (72%) said rising costs will impact their Easter plans, including 43% who said they’d be looking for more sales than normal, 16% who said they’d likely cut back on food for their holiday dinner, and 14% who plan on having fewer guests for dinner,” Finance Buzz wrote.

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