Halloween candy sees surge in sales as Americans prepare to celebrate holiday with fewer COVID restrictions

“Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood and to terrorize otherwise peaceful neighborhoods …”

Alright, alright, I’ll stop now. But it’s hard to contain the excitement for the most wonderful time of the year — no, not Christmas — Halloween!

Americans are ready to celebrate the candy season this year, with many saying they plan to trick-or-treat — especially since so many celebration were put on hold last year due to the pandemic.

“Well, everyone’s excited to enjoy the Halloween season this year, with 93% of millennial parents who say they plan to find ways to celebrate with family and friends,” said Lauren Boland, director of communications for the National Confectioners Association.

Consumers are also looking forward to the season’s biggest candy holiday.

“This Halloween is going to be a blowout — retailers are going strong on their Halloween sets with about 27% more seasonal items on display per store than in 2020,” Boland said. “And sales of chocolate and candy are up 48% over 2020 and nearly 60% over 2019.”

(Courtesy, National Confectioners Association)

Since the start of October, national retailers have seen $324 million in sales.

Halloween chocolate sales are at $199 million since the start of the month, up 55% compared to this time last year, and Halloween non-chocolate sales are at about $124 million, which is up 31% from this time last year.

While candy retailers are making a comeback 19 months after the start of the pandemic, Americans will also maximize their fun. According to the National Confectioners Association, 82% of all Americans surveyed plan on celebrating the season, up from 70% in 2020.

So what are this year’s top picks for candy consumers? The National Confectioners Association conducted an online survey and found that “Americans’ favorite Halloween candy types are chocolate. The second are gummy treats, so of course you’ve got to have a couple of creepy crawlers for some trick-or-treaters,” Boland said. “And the third, the always iconic, and somewhat divisive, candy corn,” Boland said.

(Courtesy, National Confectioners Association)

Yes, candy corn made the list. But it doesn’t stop there, because there’s a whole debate over the best way to eat candy corn.

“We found that Americans have a way that they like to enjoy it. So 31% of Americans start with a narrow white end. 17% start with the wider yellow end, and 52% just eat the whole piece all at once, and I think I’m with them,” Boland said.

Regardless of candy hot-takes, 79% of Americans plan to fill a candy bowl with treats this year.

(Courtesy, National Confectioners Association)

According to the National Confectioners Association,  consumers enjoy chocolate and candy about two to three times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day. This season, the National Confectioners Association says 88% of parents plan to use Halloween as a time to talk to their kids about a healthy balance.

No matter how we celebrate, safety guidance should be followed and the National Confectioners Association suggests parents visit their Halloween webpage for tips.

Nardos Mesmer

Nardos G. Mesmer is an Associate Producer with WTOP News. She works with producers, anchors, writers and reporters to develop content for web and air. She ensures content is factually accurate, clear and concise. She also works on technical editing of sound and revisions for airing of final audio.

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