In general, consumers index higher for buying bulk candy the more income they have and the more members in the household, with one quirk: Families with two members index 113, and with five members, 115, but with three or four members, only 84, according to ACNielsen. Indices above 120 and below 80 are significant, since above 120 means they buy more than expected and under 80 means they buy less than expected.
Age also plays a role, but bulk candy is apparently not for kids. Households with no children under 18 indexed at 115, the highest index on that part of the list. Older consumers bought more. Under 35 and ages 35 to 44 indexed the same, 75, but as age increased, bulk candy purchases also increased. Ages 45 to 54 indexed at 120. Ages 55 and over indexed at 134, and people ages 65 and above indexed the highest, at 175.
Childless younger couples, middle-aged childless couples, empty nesters both rich and poor, and older singles indexed highest for bulk candy purchases, according to the market research company.
Among racial groups, Hispanic indexed highest, at 138, followed by Caucasian at 103, African American at 90, Asian at 89, Non-Caucasian at 82, and other race, 48.
In terms of employment, people not in the workforce bought the most. White collar, clerical and sales workers were next, followed by blue collar and then professional/managerial. By region, the West was far out front, with an index of 161, followed by the East with 128. Central had 110, and the South, only 42.
ACNielsen research shows that big families buy bulk candy, and that Hispanics are big consumers of candy.
If people come from Mexico, where there is a lot of nonbranded candy, they are used to buying bulk candy, agreed Jim Corcoran, director of trade relations for the National Confectionary Association, Vienna, Va. He said he was surprised by some of ACNielsen's findings, particularly the analysis of where in the United States bulk candy sells best. That the East indexed at 128 makes sense, he said, but Central seems low considering that many big supermarkets that carry bulk candy are in the Midwest. Brach's, a big supplier, is located in Chicago. The index for the South also seems low, he said, with Publix a big player in bulk candy.