Why Do Yankee Candles Cost So Much?

Yankee Candles are known for having premium prices that are higher than other candle brands. A large 22oz Yankee Candle jar can cost $27-30, while a comparable candle from other brands may only cost $10-15. There are several key factors that contribute to the high prices of Yankee Candles:

– High brand reputation and loyalty
– Use of natural ingredients

– Large product variety
– Handcrafted production process
– High-quality glass jars
– Widespread retail presence
– Big marketing budget
– High profit margins
– Pricing comparable to rival premium brands

In this article, we’ll explore each of these reasons in more detail to explain why Yankee Candles command premium pricing.

Brand Reputation

yankee candle brand logo

Yankee Candle has built up strong brand recognition and a reputation for quality over its long history. Founded in 1969, Yankee Candle is one of the most well-known candle brands in America (https://reviewed.usatoday.com/home-outdoors/features/yankee-candle-review-really-good-its-reputation). For over 50 years, the company has cultivated an image of being a premium, high-quality candle brand. This perception stems largely from Yankee Candle’s branding and marketing over the decades.

Many consumers are willing to pay the higher prices because of the positive association they have with the Yankee Candle name. They expect a superior product given the brand’s reputation. However, some recent reviews indicate the quality may have declined slightly in recent years (https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/yankeecandle.com). Nonetheless, the power of the long-standing Yankee Candle brand still commands a price premium compared to lesser-known candle brands.

Natural Ingredients

Yankee Candle puts an emphasis on using high-quality, natural ingredients for their candles. Their signature candles are made with a proprietary all-natural wax blend of paraffin, natural wax, and vegetable-based wax. According to Yankee Candle’s website, this custom blend helps their candles burn longer and release more fragrance than other brands [1]. They use premium-grade cosmetic paraffin wax that meets FDA standards for purity. Additionally, their waxes contain no dyes, pigments, or toxins.

The fragrances used in Yankee Candles are created from essential oils, botanical extracts, and aroma chemicals isolated from natural sources. Each candle contains a complex, expertly-crafted fragrance made from 10-15 different perfume ingredients. The fragrances are strong and true-to-life, providing an authentic sensory experience. No synthetic dyes or artificial fragrances are used.

By focusing on high-quality waxes and natural fragrance ingredients, Yankee Candle is able to offer a premium, safe candle that provides excellent scent throw and burn time – all from natural materials.

Product Variety

One reason Yankee Candles cost more than other brands is the vast selection of candle scents and styles they offer. Currently, Yankee Candle has over 150 signature fragrances and more than 400 varieties of jar candles, tea lights, wax melts, room sprays, and other home fragrance products (https://www.yankeecandle.com/yankee-candle/fragrance-of-the-month). This allows customers to find a scent for every mood, season, and decorative theme.

In addition to their core collection, Yankee Candle releases dozens of new seasonal and limited edition fragrances each year, including scents for major holidays like Christmas and Halloween. They also frequently collaborate with brands like Disney and Vera Wang to create specialty candle lines (https://www.yankeecandle.com/yankee-candle/sale/special-offers). The breadth of options from Yankee Candle exceeds most competitors and contributes to their premium pricing.

Handcrafted Production

wide selection of yankee candle jars

Despite their large scale, Yankee Candles are still primarily handmade in their production facilities in Massachusetts and Virginia. Each candle goes through an intricate 27-step process that involves both automated machines and employees working by hand.

The wax melting, pouring, and candle forming relies on automated equipment. However, Yankee Candle employees hand-pour each candle and insert the wicks by hand. The wicks are made of braided cotton that provides a clean even burn. Workers hand roll the jar candles to center the wick after pouring.

The candles also receive hand-decoration, including applying labels, heat shrink bands, hang tags, and other finishing touches. So while Yankee Candle uses machines for efficiency, their production process still requires considerable hand craftsmanship. This handmade care and attention partially explains the higher retail cost.

For more details on the production process, see this inside look at the Yankee Candle factory.

Jar Quality

yankee candle production facility

One reason for Yankee Candle’s higher prices is the quality of the glass jars used for their candles. According to their website, their Original Jar Candles come in a “classic glass jar” that is an iconic part of the brand’s image and reputation. Specifically, the Large Jar Candles come in a “22-ounce Original Large Jar” known for its thick, leaded glass construction.

The thick glass jars are heavy duty and built to last through many uses. Customers appreciate that they can reuse the beautiful jars for storage or decor once the candle is finished burning. The jars have a replaceable candle design, so customers can purchase just the candle refill to reuse their existing Yankee Candle jar. This reusable jar system helps justify the higher pricing, as customers are essentially getting a high-quality glass container along with the scented candle. The thick leaded glass used in the jars contributes to their higher production costs as well.

Retail Stores

Yankee Candle has cultivated an extensive global network of retail stores, with over 250 locations across the United States as of October 2022 (SOURCE). This includes stores in nearly every U.S. state, including high-traffic shopping destinations and outlet malls. Yankee Candle’s wide retail presence allows customers to easily find and experience their products in person, building brand familiarity and loyalty. However, operating such an expansive chain of brick-and-mortar stores leads to substantially increased overhead and staffing costs that must be accounted for in Yankee Candle’s pricing (SOURCE).

Marketing & Advertising

Yankee Candle spends heavily on brand marketing across both traditional and digital mediums. According to research from MediaRadar, Yankee Candle spent under $100 million on digital advertising alone in 2021 (Source: https://advertisers.mediaradar.com/yankee-candle-advertising-profile). The company invests in premium ad units and has advertised on over 50 different media properties, including major platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Yankee Candle also has a large social media presence with over 1 million followers on Facebook and over 400,000 on Instagram. Their content features high quality photos of their products as well as engagement initiatives like contests and seasonal deals. This influential social presence allows Yankee Candle to connect directly with customers and drive brand awareness.

The significant spending on brand marketing across channels like digital ads, print, TV, and social media allows Yankee Candle to promote their products, maintain top-of-mind awareness, and justify their premium pricing.

Profit Margins

Yankee Candle has enjoyed exceptionally high profit margins over the years. According to the company’s 2003 SEC filing, gross margins were around 65% and operating margins were approximately 25%. For comparison, other consumer product companies like Procter & Gamble and Clorox have gross margins closer to 50%.

In 2013 when Yankee Candle was acquired by Jarden Corporation, it was noted that Yankee Candle had gross margins of 57% compared to Jarden’s 29% according to MassLive. The premium pricing of Yankee Candle products allows the company to achieve very high net income and profitability.

Even in 2020, Yankee Candle maintained strong gross margins of 54% amidst the pandemic according to Zippia. The brand’s upscale image and loyal customer base enables the pricing power necessary to keep profit margins high.

Competitor Pricing

yankee candle facebook page

Yankee Candles are priced comparably to other premium candle brands like Bath & Body Works and P.F. Candle Co. However, they are much more expensive than mass-market candle brands sold at big box stores. For example, a 22oz Yankee Candle jar retails for around $27.50 while a Bath & Body Works 3-wick candle of similar size costs $24.50 (1). In contrast, a 14.5oz scented candle at Target costs just $10 (2). The premium pricing puts Yankee Candles out of reach for some budget-conscious shoppers. But fans feel the higher quality ingredients and craftsmanship justify the extra cost.

(1) https://www.bathandbodyworks.com/c/candles/3-wick-candles
(2) https://www.target.com/p/14-5oz-twisted-peppermint-3-wick-candle-threshold-8482/-/A-52563518

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