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Candle Business & Industry Facts

The Candle Industry Business

  • Candle sales in the U.S. are estimated at $2.3 billion annually, excluding sales of candle accessories, with 35% of candle sales occurring during the Christmas/Holiday season.

  • There are over 400 commercial, religious and institutional candle manufacturers in the U.S., as well as numerous small craft producers for local, non-commercial use, who melt more than 1 billion pounds of wax per year.

  • Typically, a major U.S. candle manufacturer offers 1,000 to 2,000 varieties of candles in its product lines.

  • Candle sales have grown 10 to 15 percent per year in the last decade,
    fueled by consumer interest in aromatherapy and increased demand for home fragrance products.

  • Candles are used in 7 out of 10 U.S. households.

  • Manufacturer surveys show that more than 95% of all candles are purchased by women.

  • Candle industry research indicates that the most important factors affecting candle sales are scent, color, cost and shape. Consumers are increasingly purchasing candles as a focal point for their home décor, and for aromatherapy-like relaxation and stress reduction.

  • Fragrance: With a choice of about 10,000 different candle scents, fragrance is by far the most important characteristic impacting candle purchases today, with three-fourths of candle buyers saying it is “extremely important" or "very important" in their selection of a candle.

  • The majority of U.S. consumers use their candles within a week of purchase.

  • Nine out of ten candle users say they use candles to make a room feel comfortable or cozy.

  • Candle users say they most frequently burn candles in the living room (42%), followed by the kitchen (18%) and the bedroom (13%).

  • Approximately one in five women say they use candles to decorate the yard, patio or other exterior areas, as well as the interior of their home.

  • Both men and women consider candles to be an always-acceptable and highly appreciated gift for a wide variety of occasions.

  • Candle purchasers say they view candles as an appropriate gift for the holidays (76%), as a house warming gift (74%), a hostess/dinner party gift (66%), a thank you (61%) and as adult birthday gifts (58%).

  • The retail price of a candle generally ranges from approximately 50¢ for a votive to $75 for a large pillar candle. Highly unusual or embellished artisan candles can be $200 or more.

  • Two-thirds of candle purchasers say they use candles once a week or more often

Candles are principally sold in 1) specialty or gift shops; 2) department and home décor stores; 3) mass merchandisers like discount, drug and grocery stores.

Candle Wax Facts

Prior to the 19th century, a "wax" candle typically referred to a beeswax candle.

  1. All waxes are primarily hydrocarbons, whether the wax is of animal, vegetable, or petroleum origin. The chemical composition of all waxes used for candle-making is similar.

  2. An estimated 1 billion pounds of wax are used in the candles sold each year in the United States.

  3. Candles account for the second largest use of waxes in North America, after packaging and package coatings.

  4. Paraffin is the most commonly used candle wax today. Beeswax, soy wax, palm wax, gels, and synthesized waxes are also used in candle-making for the U.S. market, as are blends of waxes.

  5. Waxes burn with a yellow flame due to the presence of carbon.

  6. No specific type of wax or wax blend is considered "best" for candlemaking. All candle waxes - when provided in high-quality format - have been shown to burn cleanly and safely.

  7. No candle wax has ever been shown to be toxic or harmful to human health.

  8. There is no such thing as a soot-free wax. All organic compounds when burned will emit some carbon (soot) due to incomplete combustion. Sooting is primarily a factor of wick length and disturbance of the flame's steady teardrop shape.

Sources:

Melting & Filling Equipment, Inc.

National Candle Association

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