For more than 5,000 years, people all over the world have used candles to add a little light to their lives. In the United States, the slow burn in candle sales really began to ignite in the mid-1980s, with an increase of consumer interest in scented varieties. That trend continued into the 1990s, and for the first time in more than a century, agricultural chemists started to develop new types of waxes to replace the commonly used, fast-burning paraffin.
Fast forward to the present day, and candles are still enjoying a moment of massive popularity — perhaps more so than ever before. As of 2019, the candle industry was valued at a staggering $3.54 billion, and that figure is expected to grow to $6.64 billion by 2027. Like those in many industries, however, candle-sellers face a new challenge moving forward, one fueled by the purchasing power of sustainability-minded millennials and Gen Zers: how to create a high-quality, eco-conscious product that people can feel good about.