Candles - US - August 2013
“Candles are widely used and enjoyed in American households. However, this market faces some big challenges. Candle usage frequency needs to increase to reinvigorate sales, private label products present a growing threat to branded products, and some benefits that communicate value to the consumer (i.e., long-lasting) could actually be detrimental to market growth.”
– Gabriela Elani, Home & Personal Care Analyst
Some issues addressed in this report include:
- Increase candle usage occasions and frequency of use
- Private label candle products are a growing presence in the market
- Innovations in longer-lasting candles could slow market growth
The U.S. candles market has struggled in the past few years since the onset of the recession, but is beginning to show signs of recovery. In 2013, total U.S. retail sales for candle products are $3.14 billion and the market posted a 0.3% sales increase during 2012-13, the first positive growth experienced in several years. Consumer confidence in the economy is increasing and consumers are slowly starting to spend on discretionary household items again. Mintel expects that the category will experience flat sales into 2018, with some small increases and declines over the upcoming five-year period.
Candle companies should focus product development and marketing efforts on consumer groups who are heavily engaged with the category and view candles as a lifestyle product, which includes younger age segments and multiethnic consumer segments. Another strong opportunity for the market is promoting candle usage beyond just for eliminating odors and adding seasonal ambiance. Encouraging the use of candles for more spontaneous, personal occasions when in the home could influence people to use their candles more often and subsequently make more frequent candle purchases.
The key focus of the 2013 report will be on understanding current candle usage behaviors and the opportunities to increase consumer candle usage. This report analyzes U.S. sales performance candle products in the past five years, the market forecast through 2018. This report explores the how often consumers use candles, where they purchase candles, and what factors they take into account when making candle purchases. Consumers’ attitudes concerning candles and their perceptions of candle quality are also discussed in this year’s report.
Mintel defines a candles as a body of wax formed around a wick which, when lit, provides a flame and, in many cases, fragrance. The following types of candles are included in the market size: tealights, candles that come in a container (glass jar or tin), votives, pillars, dinner candles (tapers), gel candles, birthday candles, and candles for religious purposes.
Although they are excluded from the market size, “flameless” products are discussed in this report, including flameless candles that have the appearance of wax candles but are battery operated and use LED lights or light bulbs to create the appearance of a flame. Wax melts are also discussed; these consist of a burner device that melts wax pieces/cubes as a means to release fragrance.
Candles sold to raise funds for nonprofit organizations, such as schools and clubs, are excluded from the market size estimate.
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