Please provide market research information for consumer preferences and trends regarding plush toy purchases for Easter. For example, what do moms, dads and grandparents look for when shopping for Easter gifts, specifically plush toys. We are looking to learn about preferences regarding size, color, character, etc.; and then any other consumer information that may be available (do girls like these gifts more than boys, do the kids play with these gifts all year or do they get put away after Easter, etc.). Thanks.
Hi there! Thanks so much for coming to Wonder with your question regarding trends for plush toys and Easter. After searching extensively through industry reports, news articles, and white papers, I was not able to find trends on plush toy preferences for Easter were not publicly available at the level of detail you requested. However, I was able to that Easter spending is increasing, and giving toys and candy is becoming more and more common. Easter gifts, including plush toys, tend to be small so they fit in Easter baskets. These items are often modest in terms of cost. "In particular, bubble toys/solution is highly seasonal to the Easter holiday; its share of the total industry is nearly five-times more during Easter week as it is the rest of the year." Please see below for a deep dive of my findings.
EASTER SPENDING INCREASING, INCLUDING GIFTS
Easter has typically been a holiday where children receive candy and chocolate, often in an Easter basket. In recent years, receiving a gift with the Easter basket has become more popular. This 2017 article suggests that some parents are "going all out," including more expensive toys and even electronics for Easter. Most, however, do still keep the holiday more modest. I should also point out that there are a number of articles on how to reduce the sugar load of the standard Easter basket (by including a toy instead), appealing to more diet and health-focused parents.
The data on how common it is to buy toys for Easter varies somewhat. This article, though slightly dated (from 2013), found that 62% of respondents would buy candy and chocolates, 48% would buy an Easter basket, and 30% would buy toys. This 2017 survey by the National Confectioners Association, cited higher numbers all around, finding that 90% would put candy and chocolate in Easter baskets, and that 79% of baskets would also include "non-edible items like crayons, stuffed animals and books." Finally, this 2017 source found that 16% of those surveyed will open gifts. That percentage seems small given that gifts were forecast by this report as the third most popular type of Easter purchase, behind food and clothing -- and the expected spending on gifts was projected to be $2.9 billion of the $18.4 billion forecast total for the 2017 holiday.
As you can see, the percentages are all over the map, but overall, Easter spending is up. In 2010, Easter spending was estimated at a significantly lower $13 billion compared to the 2017 figure of $18.4 billion. In addition, 2016 US toy industry spending grew by 6% Easter week, again suggesting that toys are a popular option for an Easter gift.
EASTER TOY TRENDS
While I hesitate to quote such a large section of text, this summary of 2016 Easter toy purchases by the NPD Group is full of relevant trends:
"The most popular types of toys during the Easter period fall within the Outdoor & Sports supercategory, which includes sports activities and games, playground equipment, bubble toys/solution, and water/sand toys. The dollar share of all these categories is nearly twice as high during Easter week compared to the average for the rest of the year. In particular, bubble toys/solution is highly seasonal to the Easter holiday; its share of the total industry is nearly five-times more during Easter week as it is the rest of the year."
The same report continues: '"Looking at the top 10 items that sold during Easter week, most are very small in size, likely so they may fit in an Easter basket,” said [a US toy industry analyst]. “These items are also smaller in terms of price point; the average retail price of a toy for Easter was 38 percent less than the average price of a toy in 2015."'
I tried to look further into these two trends, and found that according to this article, smaller price points are a common finding. Their survey indicated that 77% intended to limit their purchases to $50 or less.
In addition, I also checked Amazon to see what their Easter offerings were in terms of plush toys. A search of the keywords "best selling stuffed Easter bunny" yielded a list of bunnies, the majority of which were indeed fairly small in size (generally 7-12 inches). Most were also brown or white and not surprisingly, those that were colored were pastel. The vast majority were priced between $5 and $25.
I regret that we weren't able to find for you more detailed information about stuffed animals in particular, but I hope that the above trends, in particular the findings about the smaller size and lower price point of Easter toys, will be helpful.
Thanks for using Wonder!