Despite the fact that candles are not a basic need the way they used to be, the candle industry is still burning bright. Because of their uses around the house (including emergency preparedness), the large variety of scents that modern scented candles offer, and a new understanding of how candles can help relieve stress, the candle industry made more than a billion dollars last year. To help you get into this industry, we’ll show you what customers love about candles so that you can deliver candles your customers will love.
Consumers love candles because:
- They Still Have Uses Around the House
- They Have a Variety of Scents
- They Make Great Gifts
- Some Customers Use Candles for Stress Relief
They Still Have Uses Around the House
While lightbulbs have replaced candles as the world’s primary light source, candles still have a place in most homes for practical reasons. A lot of customers try to have candles for emergencies; Sometimes the power goes out and having some candles on hand can help illuminate rooms so you can walk around safely. That they are scented is a bonus.
Scented candles themselves have practical uses. Sometimes, things happen that make your house smell bad. You may try to cook something with an unpleasant odor, a pet may do something ill-advised, or small children will just do things that small children do. While your first instinct will be to get some product from an aerosol that can help, many customers think these products can also have an overpowering scent. A scented candle lit after the aerosol spray can help even things out.
Even if a customer doesn’t need a candle for emergency lighting, they may still want one as decoration. For some people, nothing brings the room together quite like a scented candle. Customers often try to have one per room. Many people like to light scented candles just because they have them. Some people think it gives their room a unique and personal touch. People in cookie-cutter-style apartments and condos often try to make their homes seem more unique. For these people seeing a flame go down and smelling whatever scent they have is enough of a reason to light a candle.
Candles are good for parties and dates
Many customers use candles at family dinners when they want to create a more intimate family atmosphere that lightbulbs don’t give. This is one reason why candle sales spike during the holidays. The best part for you as a candle-maker is that people light multiple candles at these dinners so they’ll need a lot of replacements.
Additionally, many women love the idea of candlelit dinners. Our culture has made the candlelight dinner a symbol of romance and many women dream of the day they’ll have one with the guy they’ve been pining for. Many men have found that throwing a candlelight dinner for a date has charmed a girl into going from being just friends into being a romantic partner. While you can’t guarantee anyone success in these endeavors, you can present it as a possibility.
Want to know the best Christmas candle scents?
They Have a Variety of Scents
When scented candles started getting popular as a means of home decoration, there were only a few scents available compared to today, You had scents like lilac, lavender, and various other flowers. With the advent of the Internet and competition from candle companies, things have changed drastically. According to industry figures, there are more than 100,000 different varieties of scented candles. If you can dream a scent, chances are there is a candle version of it somewhere be it in the gift shop or the Etsy page of a crafter working out of their living room.
This is one of the things customers love. Frequent candle-buyers often have candles of different scents for different moods. Some days, a candle-owner might want their room to smell like lilacs. On other days, they may want their room to smell like cookies. Having a variety of candles for sale will help you sell more candles and drum up repeat business.
Sometimes, households may have multiple people in them. The variety of candles available is a big plus for families or people with roommates. Many consumers like the fact that there is a scent for everyone if you look hard enough. Particularly in today’s world where we’re no longer constricted to the same floral scents that dominated the scented candle industry in the beginning.
They Make Great Gifts
According to manufacturers, around 35% of candle sales happen during the holiday season. It’s easy to see why. Candles are a great gift for many people. Especially those who can be difficult to shop for. You may not know a person’s taste in movies but there’s a good chance you can find a scented candle they like in your local Wal-Mart.
One of the other things that consumers like about giving candles as gifts is that they’re easy to give while not being seen as an insult to the recipient. In terms of price, candles are in the sweet spot of social acceptability. You can’t give a family member a candy bar from the checkout line but you probably can’t give them front row tickets to a sporting event either. A candle is a way customers can show their loved ones they care without breaking the bank. For people who lack the fine-motor skills for handcrafting something, candles are a great gift to give to someone.
Some Customers Think Candles Can Be Helpful for Stress Relief
In the last few years, people have found that candles may help relieve their stress, even if temporarily. Increasingly, people are turning to candles and other forms of aromatherapy. While this is not a substitute for professional help and you as a candle-maker should never market your product this way for ethical and legal liability reasons, there is some scientific evidence to back up the connection between candles and stress relief.
The human brain reacts differently to different types of light. Blue light (the kind given off by phones, computers, and fluorescent lights) puts the brain in a more alert state. The light given off from candles helps put the brain in a more relaxed state. This is one reason upscale restaurants like to use candles and other forms of low light rather than fluorescent lighting. Furthermore, certain scents like lavender can help improve sleep. Some customers say certain varieties of scented candles can help them enter meditative states This is one of the major reasons consumers who are interested in meditation and other Eastern practices are becoming a bigger part of the candle market.
Even people who aren’t into meditation are starting to get into the idea that candles can be helpful as a part of a self-care/stress relief routine. Customers often say that candles help bring back memories. A chocolate chip cookie candle may evoke memories of baking cookies with a passed-on relative for example. This may not be a coincidence.
According to Dr. Chryssa Chalkia, a psychotherapist in the U.K., scents can evoke deep memories.
“Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful and shouldn’t be underestimated,” she writes. “The smell of the scented candle stimulates the part of your brain which is connected to memory and mood.”
According to Dr. Chalkia, evoking these memories can help the brain produce hormones like serotonin and help the person feel better.
Presenting this information can help you persuade new customers to buy your product.
Whatever their reasons, customers like candles and they’ll be buying them. Use this knowledge to help build your brand.
1. What kind of scents should I start making?
This can be hard to say. Using conventional scents is a good place to start as you’re learning to make and sell candles, However, you can easily find yourself overshadowed by big candle companies and the numerous other sellers on the Internet.
On the other hand, if you focus only on making candles no one’s ever seen before, customers won’t try them because they don’t know you. Your best bet is to try to do a mix of both. Use conventional scents to show new customers that you have quality candles and new scents for when they trust your product.
2. Which customers should I market to?
When the scented candle industry first started, they largely focused on scents that appealed largely to women.
This had the unintentional effect of pigeonholing scented candles as something women buy. Though the effects of this remain, with 90% of candles being purchased by women. But as time has gone on, men have shown an interest in buying candles. While candle-makers initially started with scents like bacon or auto shops their men-oriented scents, many men are starting to get into scented candles. While it is okay and necessary to appeal to women, it makes no sense to exclude half the marketplace. As you build your business, be sure to add scents that both men and women want.
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Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.
Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.