Think of an entire industry’s fair market value if it were for sale. That’s known as market capitalization, a value reached by combining stock shares at current price and assets. Many of the companies involved in candle production are privately held, making a true snapshot of market capitalization of the industry impossible. Private corporations include two of the biggest players — SC Johnson & Sons and Yankee Candle. However, Procter & Gamble Co., a publicly traded company and manufacturer of many home-based products including candles, is valued at more than $200 billion.
Revenues and Earnings
Candle sales in the U.S. are estimated at roughly $2.3 billion a year, but this does not include accessories such as candlestick holders. For comparison, the U.S. computer industry has annual revenues of about $86 billion, again making the candle industry appear small in scale. Candles are a highly discretionary purchase and sales are greatly influenced by economic climate. Roughly one-third of all candle sales take place during the holiday season.
Manufacturers and Employees
There are more than 400 candle manufacturing companies in the United States, and scores of craft producers who make candles for local or noncommercial use. The candle industry employs more than 7,000 workers in manufacturing, distribution and sales. For comparison purposes, there are 43,000 clergy and 25,000 carpet installers in the United States. This again amplifies the small nature of candle manufacturing.
Candle sales took off in the 1990s, when they became a part of home decor and peaked in 2000, growing at a rate of 10 percent or more each year. Consumer demand for home fragrance products helped feed this tremendous boom. Sales remained flat during the 2000s due in part to the recession, but there are signs that sales are about to reignite. The market for luxury candles is sparking overall growth of the home fragrances market. While candles come in all types of shapes and sizes, scent is the reason for new growth. Social media is helping drive the home fragrance candle market, creating a surge in Internet sales.
Fun Candle Facts
The retail price of a candle can range from 50 cents for a votive to $200 or more for a distinctive artisan candle. There are as many as 2,000 varieties of candles and 10,000 scents available. More than a billion pounds of wax are used to make the candles sold in American stores every year. Paraffin is the most commonly used candle wax today, along with beeswax, soy wax, palm wax and blended waxes.
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