How January Easter Eggs May Trick Shoppers Into Spending More Money

Easter 2023 falls on Sunday, April 9. It's arguably a long way off, especially when you consider all the other holidays coming up in the interim. Nevertheless, Easter season is apparently already upon us. We know this because Easter-related merchandise, such as chocolate- and candy-filled Easter eggs, is already available for purchase on many retail shelves. The Guardian pointed out the phenomenon of Boxing Day Easter eggs back in 2018, but it's certainly possible the practice had been going on for some years before that.

British department store, Marks & Spencer, has already rolled out a 2023 line of chocolate Easter eggs, according to GoodToKnow. The 2023 Cadbury Creme Eggs are due to hit shelves any day, if they haven't already, per AdWeek. And on January 5, Peeps made a point of reminding social media that it's never too soon to stock up on all the Peeps-branded marshmallow Easter-themed confections, per Twitter. Unsurprisingly, both Cadbury Creme Eggs and Peeps are among the top-selling Easter candy brands, as Instacart observed in 2022.

That retailers have taken to stocking Easter-related merchandise starting in January may be great news for shoppers who've been waiting since last Easter season to wrap their mouths around some cream-filled Easter egg goodness (via MarketWatch), which notes that Cadbury Creme Eggs are scarce outside of Easter season. But it also tricks some shoppers into spending more money on Easter candy than they intended. Here's how that bit of retail magic works.

A longer shopping season equals more money spent

Halloween season starts right after Labor Day, per Romper. According to McKinsey, holiday shopping begins in October. Likewise, here we are in January, and we're already seeing Easter eggs on retail shelves. That's great for shoppers already hungry for Easter candy, but early-bird Easter shoppers might want to consider that January Easter eggs may have them spending more, overall, than they'd intended.

"Customers will buy Easter eggs as soon as they can," one retailer told The Guardian in 2018. That makes sense, given, as noted above, some Easter items are available only during Easter season. Moreover, by now, many consumers have come to expect that supply-chain issues may have some limiting effect on retail inventories (via KPMG Global). "We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to plan ahead," another retailer noted (via The Guardian).

But that's precisely where things get tricky according to consumer psychologist, Dr. Catherine Jansson-Boyd (via The Mirror). When's the last time you bought a bag of Easter egg candy and didn't dig in almost immediately? If you can't relate, then well done. Nevertheless, for the rest of us, Dr. Jansson-Boyd suggests that, in the end, all we end up getting out of the longer shopping season is more time to shop and more opportunity to buy, and sometimes consume, more stuff. In other words, if you buy Easter eggs in January, odds are you'll run out and need to buy more later.