Candle Market Trends in the New Decade

Candles have become the household accessory to have in your home. Over 80% of U.S. consumers scent their homes with these comfy staples that can encapsulate the mood of any environment. The industry experienced a big boom in the past few years. Influencers, celebrities, and brands now include candles as an aesthetic part of their personas online.

It’s no secret that the candle market is continuing to grow and adapt to this demand. The focus is making a customizable experience for consumers who want to feel they are choosing more than a scent. Whether you’re looking to improve your home space, office, create an aesthetic on your social media profile, or #treatyourself in the decadence of a luxury candle, there is something for everyone.

Candles on E-Commerce

In 2020 we saw candles transform to become a signature aspect of people’s quarantine experiences. E-Commerce retailers are marketing artistically designed candles with ornate shapes and sculptural crafting. That created a spike in candle interest from consumers.

As the candle market continues to grow, the Global Scented Candle Market is forecasting a growth of 11.8%. This could result in the industry grossing $645.7 million by 2026. With the potential for a big payoff, businesses are turning to E-Commerce avenues to reach a bigger audience. Many shoppers like to buy candles in person, as a sniff can be the best incentive to purchase.

However, customers also want the convenience of online shopping. It happens mainly in an era where the pandemic has forced everyone to rethink purchasing items online. The availability of new platforms and online tools has made launching and distributing candles online easier than ever.

We’ve seen businesses turning to creative marketplaces. Etsy, for example, where homemade candles can reach a worldwide audience and get their products to people quickly. Social media has also become a hub for selling candles as platforms expand their E-Commerce offerings. We can see it in Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping, for example. Last but not least, there has been an unprecedented rise in people creating and launching their own E-Commerce stores with website platforms like Shopify and Squarespace.

Creating and maintaining an online store has become easier than ever. Website platforms help entrepreneurs curate and customize an optimal shopping experience with just a few clicks. However, the biggest payoff for a business isn’t always in the platform they choose to sell the candles, but the customization and diverse method they choose to package their candles. Here are a few great options for how businesses can creatively sell their candles online:

  • Selling sampler packs: Selling several candles in a small bundle can be one great way to sell online. This can be an effective way to highlight new or best-selling candles and put you in control of how a customer can experience your business. These “sample-sized” options also give customers the option to test out how they like a new scent before committing to a larger candle size.
  • Putting a theme on bundles is important. It makes the product seem complete and thought-out when the scents are themed — perhaps marketed as “Fall Collection” or “Fruity Fun”. Using a themed collection can be marketed in tandem with trending holidays or a specific season, which will give customers a set of candles they can use for a longer period of time. You can also get creative with your themed bundles by grouping scents, colors, or designs together in a limited time set.
  • Subscription Boxes: Once again, the theme here is important. Whether that means marketing “American Made Candles”, or perhaps marketing in line with a pop culture reference. A subscription-based candle box appeals to the true candle lover, which allows them to opt into a specified number of candles and scents for a set price, on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. As we discussed with the themed bundles, this provides a great opportunity for businesses to put their best foot forward and curate a candle set that customers can get excited about.
  • Use an online store like Amazon to help you sell candles with their algorithm. Amazon has continued to be the giant for E-Commerce businesses because their A9 algorithm can help drive customers to your products, once you understand how it works. Increasing your Amazon visibility can be improved by being strategic with your product descriptions, titles, and images.

Now that we’ve covered how the Candle E-Commerce market works for businesses, let’s discuss the latest candle trends that are dominating the market this season.

Personalized Candles

Personalized Candles

Today you can customize almost anything. Whether it’s a bumper sticker or your dog’s leash, the ability to place control in the hands of a consumer is becoming a feature of almost every business. Like in many other industries, personalized products are becoming more popular and the candle world is no exception.

People want to have their personal stamp on a product, with the freedom to design and customize based on their personal and professional needs. Enabling a feature like customizing candles to your business provides customers the opportunity to create their own aromatic experience, which has several benefits. For example, let’s say you have a person who loves candles but has specific allergies to a type of wax or scent. Customization not only allows them to create their candle, but it would not hinder their health.

Let’s say you prefer a more personal touch and want your customization to be more emotion-driven. Yankee Candle lets customers select their fragrance and add a personal photo or quote to the candle container. Taking a similar approach will help you get sales from birthdays, weddings, and other special occasions. This could also be beneficial for the holiday season or celebratory experiences, like a housewarming or baby shower, where hosts want to leave their guests a gift associated with the occasion.

Promoting personalized products in line with gift-giving can be especially effective in the holiday season when people need stocking stuffers or sentimental gifts. The option to personalize can also provide opportunities for your candles to be marketed to a new audience if a celebrity or brand decides to sell them in a limited capacity or quantity to their audience. 

Ultimately, including the option to personalize a candle helps to fulfill the market of customization and uniqueness that today’s consumers demand with scented candles.

Trending Candle Scents

Trending Candle Scents

While there are classic scent staples of the candle industry that never go out of style, there has been an expansion in the scent category that people love. A few unique scents that are growing more popular among candles are whiskey, tobacco, leather, and tomato. Many owe the popularity of these scents to the growing male demographic among candle consumers.

Yankee was one of the first to champion this trend back in 2018 when they started positioning their offering to the male market. Candle sales to men have been growing during the past five years,” says Peter Robinson of The White Company. “In fact, that segment now represents more than 11 percent of our overall online trade. For example, Drake announced his own partnership with Better World Fragrance House with curated scents and packaging specific to his OVO business.

Candle brands are marketing their products in more nostalgic ways known as “home scents .” That makes customer homes warmer and brighter, as many continue to work remotely due to the pandemic. People want affordable luxuries, and the fragrance category in 2020 saw a large boost in market sales as customers were drawn to finding scents reminiscent of their time at home with family.

Scents are known to bring back memories, and incorporating this into your candle categories can draw new customers who are looking for nostalgia. Because scents affect memory so well, candle brands are naming new scents to match common memories. For example, you can get very specific with your candle scents by naming them “Summer Camp” or “Friday Night Football”.

Candles have remained a form of self-care that can boost moods, so incorporating nostalgic scents for your customers or tapping into the interest of your male consumers are great trends to follow this year.

Extraordinary Candle Packaging and Accessories

This year has been the era of over-the-top and luxurious candle packaging. We’re seeing candles shaped like bodies, artwork, and elegantly packaged with clean or minimal designs to give them a more artistic ambiance. This is in line with the current trend that candles help achieve an aesthetic for a brand or business.

The candle isn’t just an item for scents, it’s an extension of a customer’s personality. “Most people are at home and want an object to make their domestic environment nicer. An affordable sculptural candle fits that very well,” explains Lex Pott, Dutch designer behind Hay’s Pillar candle. “People posted their candle on Instagram and became ambassadors for the product. It’s a photogenic object; soft and sculptural so it’s easy to take pictures of.”

The candle container is still one of any candle’s biggest selling points which have resulted in brands experimenting with different items in candle packaging. Below you will find a roundup of some of the hottest candle packaging trends which include a large focus on geometric shapes like shells and stars.

Which candle trends are looking most popular in 2021?

  • Soy candle – 35,350 (monthly searches) 
  • Body-shaped candle – 19,310
  • Jackpot candle – 7,920
  • Botanical candle – 3,540
  • Star-shaped candle – 2,790
  • Twist/spiral candle – 2,060
  • Shell candle – 1,280
  • Hand-shaped candle – 1,200
  • Quartz candle – 890
  • Candle pottery – 860

In addition to different types of candle packaging, we’re also seeing more businesses include accessories with their candles like Himalayan Trading Post’s use of wooden trays and iron pots. This is an elegant step up from traditional candlesticks, which are typically reserved for a dining room or mantlepiece. Being adventurous with packaging and accessories can be great to help you stand out from the crowd.

Showcasing different ways your candle can be used in a home or office space solves the problem of how a candle helps to enhance a space. Incorporating elegant glass packaging for candle products is a great way to step up your marketing game and show an element of luxury to your products. Glass is a sign of luxury and quality in candles.  Glassnow features an expressive array of glass containers in various shapes and sizes, including votives, to help with your next candle packaging venture. 

Votives held over ¼ of the candle market share in 2018, and Pillar candles are expected to get the most CAGR until 2025. Votive candles are often round or square and paired with a tray or mirror. Pillar candles are long and sturdy, varying in height. The commonality between votives and pillar candles is their ability to burn for a long time. It’s becoming more clear that long-lasting candles are a priority for consumers who are willing to invest a few more dollars in candles that are going to provide long-term comfort.

We discussed several ways to pivot and position your candle business in 2021, whether it’s getting creative with the packaging using a new jar container or adapting your candle products to provide an experience for your customers. Consider incorporating new on-the-rise scents like leather and whiskey into your products, or try adventurous ideas such as candle personalization.

Check out our blog page for more helpful articles for your business. And for the best glass packaging options for your candles, cosmetics, and more, take a look at Glassnow’s selection here.