This year, US consumers will spend an average of $86 on Halloween – including candy, costumes and décor, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). In total, the holiday will rake in $9bn.
Candy will account for $2.6bn of those sales, but unlike costumes – which two-thirds of the NRF’s survey respondents said they would buy – more than 9 in 10 consumers will buy candy. About 70% will hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.
Americans have spent more than $2.5bn on Halloween candy for the past few years, making it candy’s most important holiday. Only Easter comes close with an estimated $2.6bn in sales, according to data from the National Confectioners Association. Valentine’s Day usually hovers around $1bn, while Christmas and winter holidays near $2bn.
ConfectioneryNews has gathered some of this season’s newest treats, as well as some updated versions of classics, to see what the industry hopes will drive sales in 2019.
The Fairtrade and B-Corp certified Tony’s Chocolonely has jumped into the Halloween candy game with the launch of Tiny Tony’s.
Tony’s is known for its oversized chocolate bars with irregularly shaped pieces, but these miniature treats of sea salt milk chocolate come individually wrapped – making them ideal for trick-or-treaters or as a bite-sized snack. A 27-piece bag of caramel sea salt milk chocolates runs for $8.49 on Tony’s website and at retailers including Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and many co-ops.
A 100-piece box is also available online for $44.99.
The company was founded on a guiding principle of ending slavery in the cocoa industry, and it wants to remind consumers – especially during the candy waterfall of Halloween – that many of candy’s biggest players have struggled to eliminate cocoa sourced from such farms.
A natural version of a Halloween essential
Brach’s, the candy corn king, already offers several styles of its classic autumnal treat: bags of just pumpkins, chocolate-tinged candy corn cones, and the ‘Autumn Mix’ that combines the best of both worlds.
Now there is a naturally flavored version, too. The resealable 10oz pouch (RRP $2.79) contains the same iconic cones but this time colored with natural sources: beta-carotene and turmeric.
All of Brach’s candy corn contains a touch of real honey.
Glow in the Dark with 125-year-old Hershey
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups might stand on their own as the top-of-mind Halloween treat – thanks in part to its notable (and patented) orange color. Of course the cups are available in pumpkin form and this year in ‘Monster Mania’ ($3.59 for a bag of individually wrapped ovular skulls and Frankestein-esque shapes), but Hershey has upped the ante with a Glow in the Dark variety pack.
Interestingly, to make them glow in the dark, Hershey had to swap the brands’ classic colors for straight black with white logos.The wrappers for KitKats, Hershey bars and Reese’s cups get a makeover that allows them to glow in the dark after being under UV light, or fans can show off the green glow under a black light.
A 230-piece bag runs for $34.50. Hershey is also selling single-brand bags of the glow-in-the-dark treats, so consumers who just want Reese’s, for instance, can opt for that 9.35oz option.
For lovers of the iconic Hershey Kiss, the company has them covered with Halloween wrappers of spiky teeth and ghostly eyes. Instead of the standard ribbon, these ribbons carry words like ‘Creepy!’, ‘Yikes!’ and ‘Eek!’.
More glow in the dark
M&M’s have proven to be a go-to choice at Halloween, and Mars Wrigley serves up several variety packs for trick-or-treaters and for sharing elsewhere.
Peanut M&M’s and the classic milk chocolate ones come in fun size packs that glow in the dark, too.
As with other holidays, M&M’s offers a color-themed combo for Halloween: the Ghoul’s Mix features lime green, purple, and orange pieces. An 11.4oz bag runs for $2.98. Walmart also has a 62oz tub for everlasting refills of that candy bowl for $22.99.
Not to be outdone flavor-wise, there is also a new one just in time for the season: Creepy Cocoa Crisp M&M’s boast a cocoa crisp center with a layer of dark chocolate.
Chewy, fruity Halloween treats
Haribo turns batty
The German gummy king is offering a few Halloween-themed versions of its classic treat.
Sour Vampire Bat gummies come in a lime green bag, and a mixed pack of ‘Ghostly’ gummies combine gummy skeletons, skulls, pumpkins and bats in one.
The brand’s Trick-or-Treat Mix packs 80 mini bags for easy candy sharing.
Twizzlers aren’t always red
For Halloween, the strawberry twists become orange and black cherry. The pull-and-peel treat can be found in snack size, with black pieces twirled with orange for an aptly colored Halloween treat.
Zombie Skittles are back
Mars Wrigley unveiled its Zombie Skittles last year to much cyberspace chatter, but it held off on selling them until Halloween 2019. They hit shelves at major US retailers including Walmart and Target last month (RRP $2.99 for a bag of fun size packs, $1.89 for the standard share size bag).
What exactly are Zombie-flavored Skittles? In this case, that means Petrifying Citrus Punch, Mummified Melon, Boogeyman Blackberry, Chilling Black Cherry, Blood Red Berry and a mystery Rotten Zombie flavor. The confectioner describes it, bluntly, as 'an utterly disgusting taste experience that will elicit strong reactions from anyone and everyone daring enough to try it.'
These flavors mix a bit of the original Skittles – known for classics like lemon, orange and strawberry – and the new Darkside, which returned earlier this year after a previous limited release. The latter latches onto the berry trend in candy with flavors like pomegranate and ‘dark berry,’ plus blood orange and ‘forbidden fruit.’
The colors of a very sour Halloween
Sour Punch, made by the American Licorice Company, has also swapped out its standard colors for the spooky season.
Instead of bright red, yellow and blue (the colors of its classic Rainbow Straws and Sour Punch Bites), the Halloween pack includes neon green Monster Melon, dark purple Bone-Chilling Cherry, and Oozing Orange.
These twists come individually wrapped to make trick-or-treating easy. A 50-piece bag goes for $5.00.
Sour Punch also offers non-straws for the occasion: its Scare Size pouches of gummies in the shape of bats and pumpkins – in the berry and orange flavors – are also available ($4.50 for a 9oz bag).
Beyond Bertie Bott’s for Halloween 2019
Jelly Belly snagged the rights to create the wizard’s treat of choice in the Harry Potter series – Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. This Halloween, the jelly bean queen will extend the licensed line with five new products.
Fans can indulge in UTZ certified chocolate with the Voldemort Wand, which includes a sheet of spells (RRP £9.80 / $12.60), or the Hogwarts Ticket Chocolate Bar (£4.40 / $5.66), a 42g milk bar with crisped rice. Jelly Belly already offers a series of wands for other popular characters including Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.
A bag of Magical Sweets gummies (RRP £3.07 / $3.94) features wizarding shapes like the Deathly Hallows symbol, Harry Potter’s owl Hedwig and, of course, his lightning bolt scar. Flavors include sour cherry, banana, tangerine and watermelon.
Those looking to show their allegiance to one of Hogwarts four ‘houses’ can opt for the 28g crest tins (RRP £4.50 / $5.78), packed with Jelly Belly’s famous jelly beans. Each house offers a different flavor: Gryffindor is cherry, Slytherin gets green apple, Ravenclaw blueberry, and Hufflepuff lemon.
A triple-decker purple bus offers Harry Potter fiends a ‘clever collectible gift,’ according to Jelly Belly – it doubles as a piggy bank, with a coin slot on top. The 112g (RRP £16.00 / $20.58) package contains a variety of candies.
As are Jelly Belly’s other Harry Potter-themed treats, these new-for-2019 products are available through the company’s UK site and retailers including John Lewis, Debenhams and Selfridges.
Gummi Fun is ready for this Halloween
The Promotion in Motion company has extended its Gummi Fun Mix line, launched last year, to aptly fit the tradition of trick-or-treating.
A variety pack – available at major retailers including Walgreens and Dollar General – features 0.5oz bags, in a 22-count for $2.99 or 44-count for $4.99.
While flavors range from sour to sweet, the brand’s shapes run the gamut from fruit rings to gummy bears, worms and fish, to cream swirls.
Have a nostalgic Halloween
The initial limited-edition launch of the Bazooka Throwback pack was so popular that it’s now a permanent item.
Parent company Bazooka Candy Brands is featuring that nostalgia this Halloween, as well as a new flavor in its Juice Drop Line. Just in time for Halloween, the company has launched a new Cherry Berry flavor for Juicy Drop’s lollipops, gummies and taffy.
Another of its 90s-era treats, Ring Pop, is also ready for the season with a 22-count Halloween-themed variety pack – featuring flavors like Strawberry, Blue Raspberry and the new Purpleberry Punch Tongue Painters. Fans will also continue to see Ring Pop’s standard 20-count party pack.
Candy-coated (and pumpkin spice!) popcorn dressed for the season
Popcornopolis, which specializes in chocolate-covered and other indulgent popcorn treats, will offer its Mini Cones at select Costco stores for the Halloween season. Available in 11 US states, a 12-pack retails for $9.49, and a case goes for $34.99.
The Halloween Snack Pack features a dozen mini cones of the brand’s four most popular flavors: Zebra (caramel popcorn drizzled with white and dark confectioner’s chocolate), Caramel Corn, Cheddar Cheese, and Kettle Corn.
Monster Mini Cones (RRP $69.99 for a 40-pack case, available online only) feature the same four popcorn flavors, but the wrappers feature ghosts and ghouls.The brand will also offer a series of Halloween-themed packs created for trick-and-treating.
The Mini Cone Gift Cauldron ($39.99 for an 8-pack online) doubles as a gift basket. An 18-inch version contains a whopping 60 mini cones, a two-gallon Halloween Bats Popcorn Tin, or a Halloween Spiders 5-Cone Popcorn basket provide unique alternatives to typical gift baskets ($44.99-46.99).
Last but certainly not least, Popcornopolis has brought back its Pumpkin Spice Popcorn just for the autumn harvest.