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US Halloween candy sales to creep up 2%, says NCA

By Oliver Nieburg+

29-Oct-2014

Friday's Halloween to give confectionery sales a slight lift
Friday's Halloween to give confectionery sales a slight lift

US Halloween confectionery sales are set to rise in 2014 as the season falls on a Friday meaning consumers are likely to stock up on treats for parties, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA).

Halloween confectionery retail sales are forecast to reach $2.5bn, up 1.8% on last year, said the trade body.

Friday is party time

“An increase of that amount is fairly typical for both holiday sales and annual candy sales,” Susan Whiteside, vice president of communications at the NCA, adding that the rise was in line with the consumer price index increase for all goods.

“Halloween falls on a Friday this year - that often means people attend more celebrations overall: Trick-or-treating Friday night, a community party on Saturday and an adult-oriented party on Saturday night, for example,” she said.

Hershey said in its third quarter results today that Halloween orders had surpassed expectation and it expects to gain market share for the season.

Trick-or-treat trends

Halloween is the largest season for US confectionery sales and was also the fastest growing last year. Chocolate accounts for 75% of Halloween confectionery sales

A survey by the NCA found that those aged over 60 were the likeliest to hand out Halloween candy with 84% reporting they also would participate.

But the figure was high among the general population with 75% claiming they would hand out candy. Those in Midwest were the likeliest to give candy, followed by consumers in the South and West.

Popular products and launches

According to a survey by AOL, Kit Kat, produced under license by Hershey in the US, was the most popular Halloween confectionery product last year, purchased by 45% of respondents. Next was Snickers (41%) followed by Reese’s.

New launches for Halloween this year include Hershey’s Candy Corn Creme Bar and Mars’ Twix Ghost.

Halloween Origins
  • Halloween pre-dates Christianity and has its roots with Celtic groups who believed the door between the world of the dead and the living opened on 31 October.
  • The Celts left food and drink out to sustain the spirits and used disguises to escape harm while moving from house to house enjoying the food and drink.
  • The Celts carved turnips to represent faces, which later became pumpkins due to their abundance in the US.
  • All Saints' Day (1 Nov) was sometimes known as All Hallows' Day, and the night before, All Hallows' Eve, or Hallowe'en, which we today call Halloween.
  • Halloween came to America from settlers and immigrants. The season was initially celebrated as an autumn harvest festival
  • Trick-or-treating is chiefly a US custom that was popularized in the 1950s by the Baby Boomer generation.

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