Special Feature: Year In Review

Year In Review: Scented Candles

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December 28, 2020
by Shastri Mahadeo
2 Minutes

The following insights are powered by Nielsen in partnership with Unioncrate, an artificial intelligence demand planning platform that combines consumer behavior and historical shipment data to predict sales and inventory with up to 91.6% SKU-level accuracy.


Welcome to Day 28 of Unioncrate’s Year In Review, taking a look at the 34.4% growth experienced this year by the scented candle category.

Scented Candles

  • While shoppers were out making sure they had enough toilet paper and baking mixes to outlast the pandemic, they grabbed some of their favorite scented candles as well, with the category up 13.7% in the 4-week period ended 3/21.
  • Growth for this category reached a peak of 86.9% in the 4-week period ended 5/16.
  • Scented candles that came with holders were especially popular, increasing 42% in the 40-week period since March.

Stop and Smell the Highlights

  • Newly founded candle business Bright Black Candles experienced a surge in popularity after worldwide superstar Beyoncé included the company on her curated list of Black-owned brands to support, which was released on her website in conjunction with the drop of her surprise Juneteenth single.
  • If you’ve ever wondered what Drake smells like, your chance to find out may be on its way. The rapper announced that he would be releasing a candle with his scent (called Carby Musk) that will let us all get intimately familiar with what it’s like to be Aubrey Graham.
  • Dunkin’ is bringing back their candle collab with Homesick Candles just in time for the holidays, rereleasing the limited edition scent so you can gift it to the coffee fanatic in your life. 
  • If you’re having trouble smelling that candle you just ordered online when it finally arrives, think twice before leaving a bad review for the candle company. Yankee Candle was hit earlier this year with a tirade of 1-star reviews for weakly-scented candles from shoppers who had unknowingly been infected with Covid-19 and lost their sense of smell. 

Up Next: Bleach

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