KANSAS CITY — The Easter season is on its way, and consumers are still turning to sweets to celebrate the holiday, according to the National Confectioners Association’s (NCA) report on seasonal confectionery sales.

“Throughout the past year, Americans have looked to chocolate and candy at the holiday for a small sense of normalcy in a challenging time,” said John Downs, president and chief executive officer of the NCA. “Most consumers believe that physical wellness and emotional well-being are connected, and that enjoying the occasional treat can bring some comfort during the pandemic — especially at holidays like Easter.”

Of those who celebrate Easter, 87% enjoy Easter-themed seasonal chocolate and candy, the NCA said. To cater to that 87%, CPG manufacturers are hatching innovation to help consumers celebrate the holiday with seasonal sweets.

Mondelez International, Inc. is turning two of its candy brands into jelly beans for Easter: Sour Patch Kids Watermelon Jelly Beans and Swedish Fish Jelly Beans.

The Ferrero Group is debuting a deluge of limited-edition products for Easter under its Kinder, Kinder Joy, Nutella, Tic Tac, Butterfinger, Crunch, Baby Ruth, Ferrero Rocher and Fannie May brands.

Just Born Quality Confections is expanding its Peeps brand confections for Easter with two new products: Peeps Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon Flavored Marshmallow Chicks and Peeps Froot Loops Flavored Pops. The new treats join returning Easter offerings, including Peeps Giant Bunny Pops and Peeps Decorated Eggs.

“Most consumers believe that ... enjoying the occasional treat can bring some comfort during the pandemic — especially at holidays like Easter.” — John Downs, NCA

“Peeps is back and better than ever,” said Caitlin Servian, brand manager for Peeps. “We're thrilled to be returning this Spring to fulfill special Easter traditions, no matter how you plan on celebrating this year. For nearly seven decades, Peeps Marshmallow Candy has been a quintessential Easter staple. Each year fans count on the classic Chicks and Bunnies, along with fun new products and partnerships, to add extra Peepsonality at Easter.”

Flowers Foods, Inc. is rolling out seasonal Tastykake treats for spring and Easter, including Lemon Mini Donuts, Peach Cobbler Mini Donuts, Strawberries and Crème Glazed Pies, Lemon Juniors, Hippity Hop Kandy Kakes and Easter Snowballs.

Dunkin’ teamed up with Frankford Candy to debut Dunkin’ Iced Coffee Flavored Jelly Beans for the holiday. Each bag contains an assortment of flavors inspired by Dunkin’s iced coffee offerings, including French vanilla, caramel latte, butter pecan, toasted coconut, and hazelnut.

“Jelly beans are such a classic and popular part of the holiday and seasonal celebration,” said Brian Gilbert, vice president of retail business development at Dunkin’. “We are thrilled to team up with Frankford Candy, the leader in confections that have delighted Americans for decades, to create a fun and sweet new way for people to enjoy the great taste of Dunkin’.”

Molly Jacobson, director of marketing at Frankford Candy, said, “When it comes to jelly beans, consumers are hungry for new flavors and innovation from beloved brands. This collaboration with Dunkin’ hits the mark on all of that which makes this product a home run.”

Stuffed Puffs is offering new individually wrapped, pastel stuffed marshmallows for Easter. Each themed bag contains 10 milk chocolate stuffed marshmallows in three colors: sunflower yellow, bubble gum pink and daydream blue.

“Easter might look different this year, but we're excited to launch what will hopefully be a new holiday favorite,” said Michael Tierney, founder and CEO of Stuffed Puffs. “Our pastel-colored chocolate filled-marshmallows are wonderful treats for the holiday and will be the perfect addition to any Easter basket or egg hunt this season.”

See’s Candies has unveiled two new offerings for the Easter holiday.

The Centennial Easter Tin contains approximately 16 treats, including Milk California Brittle, Dark Butterchew, Milk Vanilla Nut Cream, Milk Bordeaux, Milk Chocolate Eggs, Marshmallow Egg, Scotchmallow Egg, Milk Vanilla Buttercream, Dark Raspberry Cream and Milk Coconut Cream.

The new Dark Peanut Butter Egg features creamy peanut butter encased in dark chocolate packaged in an Easter-themed box.

“When our customers think of Easter, they think of See's,” said Pat Egan, president and CEO of See’s. “With every bite of a sweet treat, there’s a taste of nostalgia, too. Our goal is to help carry on these traditions in new and innovative ways for many years to come.”

View slideshow of new products.