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Spooky! Last Year's Halloween Candy Sales Were $ 2.1 Billion, Making it Largest Candy Season of the Year; 73.4% Of Consumers Wil

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:12pm

Talk about spooky! Here's some SUGAR SHOCKING! news that's enough to give the nutrition minded amongst us wide-awake ghoulish, goblin-filled nightmares.

Last year, Halloween candy sales scarily climbed to some $2.1 billion, making it the largest candy season of the year, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA). (Think SUGAR SHOCK! nation this month rather than Fast Food Nation, where candy corn and licorice are "in"; but French fries and onion rings are momentarily "out.")

Check out more startling findings from the National Confectioners Association:

  • 2005 candy sales were 2.3% higher than the year before.
  • This estimate includes chocolate candy, novelty candy, licorice, hard candy, chewy candy, and fun-size candy. (Does this mean smaller-sized candy bars? Let's be serious here: There's nothing fun about the consequences of sugar overload.)
  • For the second year in a row, Halloween-themed candy sales increased.
  • Candy corn and themed candies with witches and goblins grew an amazing 10.2 percent, and chocolate candy sales were up by 3.2 percent.
  • Drug store sales grew 6-plus percent while supermarket and mass outlets increased less than 1%. 

Why the spike in sales? The NCA claims: "Much of this variance in growth rates can be attributed to the early start to the Halloween selling season by drug store retailers." (In other words, we're bombarded by Halloween candy early on. In fact, I recall seeing Halloween candy at one drug store in my neighborhood as far back as August or even July.)

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has further stats, developed from its Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch.

  • Consumers are expected to spend $4.96 billion this Halloween, up from $3.29 billion a year ago.
  • Nearly two-thirds of consumers (63.8%) will celebrate Halloween this year, up from 52.5% in 2005.
  • Most people (95.7%) plan to scoop up plenty of candy, and the average consumer will spend about $18.72 in that category. 
  • Some 73.4% of consumers will hand out candy. (Haven't they heard that obesity and diabetes epidemics are raging in this country?)
  • The average consumer plans to spend a whopping $59.06 on Halloween, compared to $48.48 last year.
  • Kids aren't the only ones getting in on the Halloween fun. This year, 85.3 percent of 18-24 year olds say they plan to celebrate the holiday (up from 66.8 percent in 2005). Also planning to celebrate are 76.5 percent of consumers aged 25-34 and 71.3 percent of 35-44 year-olds.

By the way, if between Tuesday night and about Thursday morning, your loved ones begin to act moody, edgy, have difficulty concentrating, and cantakerous, try asking them -- subtly, of course -- just how they celebrated Halloween and how much candy they consumed. I daresay that you'll find an amazing connection.

Remember, you don't have to fall into the candy-giving trap this Halloween, and kids will have just as much, if not more fun, without all that sugar. For ideas on healthy, fun treats to give out, see my article, "Adults, Give Glow-in-the-Dark Objects & Other Fun Stuff & Parents, Encourage Your Kids to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF."

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