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KAI RYSSDAL: Easter is almost upon us. Or, to think about it a slightly different way, the fourth biggest holiday for retailers is almost upon us. According to the National Retail Federation, Easter ranks just behind Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day in consumer spending. So far, Easter looks like it’s going to bring in slightly more money than it did last year — that reverses a trend we saw during the recession. Shoppers are finally ready snatch up food, candies, decorations and anything else they might find at the mall while they’re in the buying mood. That also includes eggs, an item that’s finally seeing the sunny side of sales again.
Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson reports.
Jeremy Hobson: The National Retail Federation says Americans are on track to spend about $13 billion this Easter. Spokeswoman Kathy Grannis says that’s about 2 percent more than last year.
Kathy Grannis: Every holiday so far for 2010 has seen some kind of slight increase. That is a big change from what we’ve seen the last two years where consumers were being a little bit more cautious with their spending.
And it means more money for greeting cards, decorations, candy and most of all, food. The egg industry stands to benefit — and not just because of all the eggs people will be decorating. Kevin Burkum is with the American Egg Board. He says after decades of anti-yolk sentiment from cholesterol conscious consumers, egg sales are finally starting to harden.
Kevin Burkum: With more people cooking at home and eating at home and entertaining at home as opposed to going out, eggs have certainly benefited from that.
Burkum says right now, Americans average 250 eggs a year. That’s nowhere near the 400 we consumed in the 50s, but it’s up from the 235 we ate in the 90s.
Burkum: You know, for those of us in the egg industry, there’s perhaps too many plastic and candied eggs around, but again, it’s all a celebration of the egg.
We found Nidya Menasche in New York’s Union Square. She says she’s buying 40 eggs this Easter, versus just a dozen last year.
Nidya Menasche: Last year, they were more money. This year, I went to Target and they were better prices, so I’m going to stock up. Take advantage.
Well, She sounds like a Grade-A miracle for the egg industry. But wait…
Menasche: Oh, you mean the regular eggs? Oh no, we don’t do those.
Ohhh… That’s probably not gonna go over easy.
In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.
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