NRF Highlights Sacred and Secular Springtime Traditions

Apr 05, 2001, 01:00 ET from National Retail Federation

    WASHINGTON, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The spring season has always provided
 the backdrop for annual rites and traditions, from celebrating the rebirth of
 fields and flowers to observing important religious occasions.  Today,
 consumers have more options than ever for adding to the enjoyment of these
 traditions.  Below are several springtime facts and figures:
 
     Food & Candy - A Sweet Tradition Continues
 
     *  Easter is expected to generate $1.9 billion in candy sales this year,
        and is second only to candy sales associated with the Christmas
        season.(1)
     *  Distributors and retailers predict that sales of Passover-designated
        kosher products will increase 15 percent in 2001.  Sales of kosher for
        Passover products reached $5 billion in 1999.(2)
     *  Jelly beans first became part of Easter celebrations in the 1930's;
        over 15 billion jellybeans were eaten during the Easter season last
        year.(1)
     *  Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies have been the top-selling non-chocolate
        Easter candy brand for the last decade.(3)  This year, over 600 million
        Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies will be eaten in the U.S. alone -- yellow
        Peeps are the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue and
        white.(3)
 
     Bunnies & Eggs - Symbols of Renewal, Fertility
 
     *  The world's largest chocolate Easter bunny entered the Guinness Book of
        World Records in 2000 -- weighing in at 341 lbs., with a 2.5-foot head
        and 2.1-foot ears.(4)
     *  During March and April, 600 million eggs are sold in stores across the
        U.S.(5)
     *  The first use of colored eggs was to celebrate spring -- Persians dyed
        their eggs red for this purpose in 3000 B.C., and ancient Egyptians,
        Greeks and Romans followed suit.(6)
     *  The roasted egg is also part of the traditional Passover seder plate,
        being a symbol of mourning as well as of spring -- the season in which
        Passover is always celebrated.
     *  Easter egg decorating was brought to the United States in the early
        1700s by Germans who settled in Pennsylvania.(6)
 
     Flowers, Greeting Cards and Decorations - Ways to Extend Springtime Wishes
 
     *  The Easter/Passover season accounts for 19 percent of all holiday-
        related flower purchases -- with over half of consumers choosing
        lilies.(7)  Flowers are also a traditional addition to the Passover
        seder table as a symbol of spring.
     *  Easter is the fourth most-popular occasion for sending greeting cards,
        behind Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day.(8)
     *  Sales of Easter-related seasonal decorations reached $620 million in
        1999.(9)
 
     Apparel - Spring Fashion Forward
 
     *  Sales at apparel stores in Spring 2000 topped $35.4 billion.(10)
            -- March = $11.84 billion
            -- April = $11.74 billion
            -- May = $11.80 billion
     *  Early indicators point to a springtime resurgence in feminine dressing,
        from lady-like dresses and suits for work to flowing floral prints on
        the weekends.  Color is expected to make a comeback in men's and
        women's spring fashions.  Stay tuned!
 
     The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world's largest retail trade
 association with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of
 distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet and
 independent stores.  NRF members represent an industry that encompasses more
 than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments, employs more than 20 million
 people -- about 1 in 5 American workers -- and registered 2000 sales of $3.2
 trillion.  NRF's international members operate stores in more than 50 nations.
 In its role as the retail industry's umbrella group, NRF also represents 32
 national and 50 state associations in the U.S. as well as 36 international
 associations representing retailers abroad.
     For more information about NRF, visit the web site at http://www.nrf.com .
 
     1.  National Confectioners Association/Chocolate Manufacturers
         Association, www.candyusa.org
     2.  Kosher Today newsletter, April 2, 2001., www.koshertodayonline.com
     3.  Just Born, Inc., manufacturer of Marshmallow Peeps,
         www.marshmallowpeeps.com
     4.  Swisscargo AG, Confiserie Sprungli
     5.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, www.usda.gov
     6.  Signature Brands, LLC, Paas(R), www.paasdyes.com
     7.  Society of American Florists, www.aboutflowers.com
     8.  Greet Card Association, www.greetingcard.org
     9.  Unity Marketing, Inc., The Gifts & Decorative Accessories Report: The
         Market, The Industry, The Trends, 2000., www.unitymarketingonline.com
     10. U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, www.census.gov
 
 

SOURCE National Retail Federation
    WASHINGTON, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The spring season has always provided
 the backdrop for annual rites and traditions, from celebrating the rebirth of
 fields and flowers to observing important religious occasions.  Today,
 consumers have more options than ever for adding to the enjoyment of these
 traditions.  Below are several springtime facts and figures:
 
     Food & Candy - A Sweet Tradition Continues
 
     *  Easter is expected to generate $1.9 billion in candy sales this year,
        and is second only to candy sales associated with the Christmas
        season.(1)
     *  Distributors and retailers predict that sales of Passover-designated
        kosher products will increase 15 percent in 2001.  Sales of kosher for
        Passover products reached $5 billion in 1999.(2)
     *  Jelly beans first became part of Easter celebrations in the 1930's;
        over 15 billion jellybeans were eaten during the Easter season last
        year.(1)
     *  Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies have been the top-selling non-chocolate
        Easter candy brand for the last decade.(3)  This year, over 600 million
        Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies will be eaten in the U.S. alone -- yellow
        Peeps are the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue and
        white.(3)
 
     Bunnies & Eggs - Symbols of Renewal, Fertility
 
     *  The world's largest chocolate Easter bunny entered the Guinness Book of
        World Records in 2000 -- weighing in at 341 lbs., with a 2.5-foot head
        and 2.1-foot ears.(4)
     *  During March and April, 600 million eggs are sold in stores across the
        U.S.(5)
     *  The first use of colored eggs was to celebrate spring -- Persians dyed
        their eggs red for this purpose in 3000 B.C., and ancient Egyptians,
        Greeks and Romans followed suit.(6)
     *  The roasted egg is also part of the traditional Passover seder plate,
        being a symbol of mourning as well as of spring -- the season in which
        Passover is always celebrated.
     *  Easter egg decorating was brought to the United States in the early
        1700s by Germans who settled in Pennsylvania.(6)
 
     Flowers, Greeting Cards and Decorations - Ways to Extend Springtime Wishes
 
     *  The Easter/Passover season accounts for 19 percent of all holiday-
        related flower purchases -- with over half of consumers choosing
        lilies.(7)  Flowers are also a traditional addition to the Passover
        seder table as a symbol of spring.
     *  Easter is the fourth most-popular occasion for sending greeting cards,
        behind Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day.(8)
     *  Sales of Easter-related seasonal decorations reached $620 million in
        1999.(9)
 
     Apparel - Spring Fashion Forward
 
     *  Sales at apparel stores in Spring 2000 topped $35.4 billion.(10)
            -- March = $11.84 billion
            -- April = $11.74 billion
            -- May = $11.80 billion
     *  Early indicators point to a springtime resurgence in feminine dressing,
        from lady-like dresses and suits for work to flowing floral prints on
        the weekends.  Color is expected to make a comeback in men's and
        women's spring fashions.  Stay tuned!
 
     The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world's largest retail trade
 association with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of
 distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet and
 independent stores.  NRF members represent an industry that encompasses more
 than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments, employs more than 20 million
 people -- about 1 in 5 American workers -- and registered 2000 sales of $3.2
 trillion.  NRF's international members operate stores in more than 50 nations.
 In its role as the retail industry's umbrella group, NRF also represents 32
 national and 50 state associations in the U.S. as well as 36 international
 associations representing retailers abroad.
     For more information about NRF, visit the web site at http://www.nrf.com .
 
     1.  National Confectioners Association/Chocolate Manufacturers
         Association, www.candyusa.org
     2.  Kosher Today newsletter, April 2, 2001., www.koshertodayonline.com
     3.  Just Born, Inc., manufacturer of Marshmallow Peeps,
         www.marshmallowpeeps.com
     4.  Swisscargo AG, Confiserie Sprungli
     5.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, www.usda.gov
     6.  Signature Brands, LLC, Paas(R), www.paasdyes.com
     7.  Society of American Florists, www.aboutflowers.com
     8.  Greet Card Association, www.greetingcard.org
     9.  Unity Marketing, Inc., The Gifts & Decorative Accessories Report: The
         Market, The Industry, The Trends, 2000., www.unitymarketingonline.com
     10. U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, www.census.gov
 
 SOURCE  National Retail Federation