Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tip # 225: From the Archives to Now: Easter Merchandising Inspiration

Photo courtesy of

In celebration of RCI’s 100th anniversary, we have pulled favorite articles from the “archives.” In this excerpt from an issue of Kettle Gossip published in 1972, Dave Faurer of Wilbur Chocolate Co., shared Easter merchandising tips for candy makers. Although it's fun to reflect on how things (especially prices) have changed since 1972, many of Faurer's tips can be applied by today's retail confectioner. However, we've included some suggestions for updates to his merchandising ideas below.

Easter Merchandising

For most confectioners, Easter ranks second only to Christmas as a candy merchandising occasion. In some areas the Easter volume exceeds Christmas. As an occasion for the retail manufacturing confectioner to show his real skill in the art of candy making, Easter leads the list by far.

Timing – Easter falls on Sunday, April 2 this year (in 1972). Many merchants start showing some of their Easter items right after Washington’s birthday. Items like small chocolate-covered Easter eggs and 10, 15 and 25 cents eggs can be displayed or sold even earlier. This will include jelly eggs, marshmallow eggs, butter cream mix, etc.

About four weeks before Easter, your full line of Easter items should be on display. These would include your more expensive gift items, large eggs, gift baskets, etc.

Displays – The very nature of the items in your Easter line makes them easy to display. In themselves, they are so colorful that very little in the way of display material need be added. Basic colors for your display should be in the pastel shades. Usual color combinations are orchid and yellow, green (light) and yellow or pink and green.

It is extremely important that all signs are selected very carefully. To make sure that your signs stand out from the merchandise, you should choose the strongest colors in your display for the sign background. Good eye catchers are a super-large chocolate egg or a chocolate bunny or even an extra large size plush bunny.

Here are a few ideas which may help to create better and more effective Easter displays:

1972: A border of artificial daffodils and tulips can be very effectively arranged around the front of your windows

Now: For a more current take on this idea, use a cupcake stand,terra cotta pots and fresh daffodils to create a visually interesting Easter display.Photo from

1972: A good way to show your moulded eggs and rabbits is to use a large round glass, covered with either amber or green cellophane grass. Use a separate piece of glass for each group. Place the largest item in the center and surround with the smaller sizes.

Now: Consider purchasing real or artificial wheatgrass, which can be used to nestle products  and décor for fresh and colorful merchandising throughout spring and summer. Photo from

1972: When displaying your eggs, cut one very carefully, cello wrap so customer can see what the egg is like inside. This is especially true of the fruit and nut centers.

Now: What’s on the inside counts, right? Instead of wrapping a cut-chocolate in cello wrap, consider displaying cut pieces on a glass dish or cake stand, topped with a glass dome. Glass domes of all shapes and sizes are super trendy right now and are relatively inexpensive at your local craft and hobby shop. And don’t think you have to splurge on a big, pricey dome. Even small and dainty domes can create an elegant display. Photo courtesy of

In conclusion, Easter is one of the most fascinating (and exasperating) periods of the candy year. By careful thought in selecting items and merchandising them properly, you can capture the Easter market in your town.

Stay connected with RCI through Facebook for more tips and inspiration dedicated to the retail candy maker. Not a member? Click here to learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business.

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