Facts & Figures

About Candles

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  • U.S. retail sales of candles are estimated at approximately $2 billion annually, excluding sales of candle accessories.
  • Candles are used in 7 out of 10 U.S. households.
  • Candles come in an endless variety of sizes and shapes, from tapers, votives, pillars and tealights to container/jar candles, floating candles, liturgical candles, outdoor candles, novelty candles, utility candles and birthday candles.
  • Manufacturer surveys show that 90% of all candles are purchased by women.
  • Votives, container candles and pillars are currently the most popular types of candles with American consumers.
  • Candle industry research indicates that the most important factors affecting candle sales are scent, color, cost and shape.
  • The retail price of a candle generally ranges from approximately 50¢ for a votive to $30 for a large pillar or jar candle. Highly unusual or embellished artisan candles can be $200 or more.

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About the Industry

  • There are more than 400 commercial, religious and institutional manufacturers of candles in the United States, in addition to scores of small craft producers for local, non-commercial use.
  • NCA member companies account for approximately 90 percent of all candles made in the U.S.
  • Candles are principally sold in three types of retail outlets:
    • specialty or gift shops;
    • department and home décor stores;
    • mass merchandisers (discount stores, drug store chains, grocery stores, etc.)
  • Approximately 35% of candle sales occur during the Christmas/Holiday season. Non-seasonal business accounts for approximately 65% of candle sales.
  • Major U.S. candle manufacturers typically offer between 1,000 and 2,000 varieties of candles in their product lines.
  • More than 1 billion pounds of wax are used in producing the candles sold each year in the U.S.
  • It is estimated that more than 10,000 different candle scents are available to U.S. consumers.

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Candle-User Preferences

  • Consumers
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    are increasingly purchasing candles as a focal point for their home décor, and for aromatherapy-like relaxation and stress reduction.

  • 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.
  • Approximately three-fourths of candle users say they typically burn candles for 4 hours or less per sitting.
  • 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%).