Hoppy Easter!

The National Retail Federation says Easter is still the second-biggest holiday for retailers with Americans planning to spend the same amount as last year --$152 per person on stuff like candy, flowers, decorations, gifts, cards, family dinners and new Easter duds. Total spending for Easter, when you add it all up-- is expected to reach $18.4 billion.
   According to the survey, consumers will spend $5.8 billion on food (purchased by 87 percent of shoppers), $3.3 billion on clothing (50 percent), $2.9 billion on gifts (61 percent), $2.6 billion on candy (89 percent), $1.2 billion on flowers (39 percent), $1.1 billion on decorations (43 percent) and $788 million on greeting cards (48 percent).
   57.8 percent will visit family and friends, 55.6 percent will cook a holiday meal, 51.3 percent will go to church and 15.6 percent will go to a restaurant. Children will also have plenty to look forward to, with 31.4 percent of consumers planning an Easter egg hunt and 13.9 percent will open gifts from the Easter Bunny.

In case you were wondering: 
   --Cherry is the most popular jelly bean flavor for children (20-percent), followed by strawberry (12-percent), grape (10-percent), lime (7-percent), and blueberry (6-percent).
   --Ninety million chocolate Easter bunnies are produced each year.
   --Chocolate bunnies should be eaten ears first, according to 89-percent of Americans. Six percent said bunnies should be eaten feet first, while five-percent favored eating the tail first.
   --Americans buy more than 700 million Marshmallow Peeps, shaped like chicks, as well as Marshmallow Bunnies and Marshmallow Eggs, making them the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy.
   --In 1953, it took 27 hours to create a Marshmallow Peep. Today it takes six minutes.
   --Yellow Peeps are the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue, and white.

Top sales weeks for candy (Nielsen): 
5. Christmas /Hanukkah, $643 million
4. Pre-Christmas /Hanukkah, $687 million
3. Valentine's Day, $785 million
2. Halloween, $787 million
1. Easter /Passover, $812 million

Easter... and Passover!
Just in time for all Holy season... Bond Street Chocolates in New York City is offering edible deities. The $18 chocolate JESUS stands four inches tall (3.5 ounces) and is gilded with edible 24-carat gold, while chocolate MOSES is a whopping $75 for 15 ounces of copper-dusted goodness in the form of the MICHELANGELO sculpture. BUDDHA, GANESH and the VIRGIN of GUADALUPE also available.


Happy Easter!


- MM