From the post-truth department!
While doing some work-related research on market trends, I came across this interview with Ted Post, president of the National Candle Group, the leading industry coalition that generates candle standards; and that tracks retail trends for the candle industry.
It’s buried behind the paywall of The Wall Street Journal, so I can’t provide the link.
However, key content is pasted here for the edification of BG readers:
According to Post, there has been both an unprecedented and unpredicted increase of candle sales in the United States over the last 5 weeks.
When contacted by The Wall Street Journal, Post explained,
“This has caught our industry totally by surprise. Both suppliers, distributors, and retailers are perplexed, as we have tracked an increase of 280% of sales compared to the same time horizon of the 2021 retail year. This is exciting, but of course alarming, in a good way, as more sales of quality produced candles is our goal. Candles make every social gathering more memorable. However, in this compressed retail environment with ‘just-in-time’ sales trends dominating the retail ecosystem, many retailers are stressed to keep up with this unfound rise in demand.
When asked why there has been this unpredictable increase, and what it says about consumers, Post responded,
“Well, there are certain retail times of year where we know candles will sell: the holidays, especially Hanukkah and Christmas; Passover; Halloween/Day of the Dead; and Valentine’s Day. Those are dependable retail clusters where we expect 1,000% increases, and our suppliers and retailers work hard at those times to provide quality to our customers. So this sales trend caught us totally unawares, which of course on many levels is a good thing to have happened.
We did our due diligence and sent out a survey to retailers in the US. This was also mirrored with our networks in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. It turns out sales are being driven entirely by a single demographic: white men in their 50s and 60s, often about 30 to 50 lbs overweight, who wear “thongs” and cargo shorts, and a tight surf-brand tee shirt that shows too tight on their beer bellies. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine such a demographic–how does one predict and thus prepare marketing campaigns for this demographic? It turns out this demographic trend holds in all US coastal states, and the same in our international markets. Then, weirdly, there was an increase of candle sales by a factor of 300% in Oklahoma, of all places. That one is even harder for us to figure out.”
Post was asked why he thinks these precise demographic of customers are flocking to get candles in these specific locations:
“That’s weird, too. The #1 response for why the purchase, at a rate that statistically dwarfs any other response, was ‘I’m hoping for Kelly to get Gisele.’ That’s basically been the overwhelming reason given. Really, the only reason given. Then, oddly, after saying this, the male will put on sunglasses and make some esoteric hand signal where they extend their thumb and pinky while closing the three middle fingers, and walk away, content with their new purchase.”
Post concludes by saying, “This has me stumped. I’ve been in the candle industry for 25+ years. I live, eat, and breathe candles. Candles have put my kids through college. Never would I have predicted that a bunch of over-50 year old men in coastal towns, would care about lesbian relationships.”
BG has learned two things over the last couple of days: Chas relishes beating dead horses to oblivion; resuscitating said dead horse; and then beating it to death again.
The second is that Chas can singlehandedly skew whole retail markets.
More as consumer trends emerge…