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Americans Playing Tricks with Treats this Halloween

New National Confectioners Association Poll Reveals Americans' Desire to Stash Candy

Contact: Susan Whiteside
(202) 534-1440
susan.whiteside@CandyUSA.com

October 8, 2009

(LISTEN TO THE :60 SECOND AUDIO NEWS RELEASE

Washington, DC (October 8, 2009) - Trick-or-treaters beware; adults are stashing sweets for themselves this year. According to the National Confectioners Association's (NCA) 2009 Halloween Survey, four in ten adults admit that they purposely keep treats behind, instead of giving all the loot away to revelers. In fact, nearly one third (30 percent) of adults admit that they will pocket at least a handful or more of goodies from the treat bowl to savor for themselves.

"This Halloween, adults are looking to share the sweetness of the holiday by giving out, and in many cases saving for themselves, their personal favorite treats," said NCA Vice President of Communications Susan Whiteside. "And, with the holiday falling on a Saturday, we anticipate seeing even more Americans celebrating in heightened style this year, as compared to years past, by trick-or-treating, attending festive parties and enjoying delicious seasonal candy sweets."

Treats and Traditions

Nearly one‐in‐five adults say that a Halloween celebration without candy would be the spookiest thing of all this October! Savoring the classics, chocolate treats and traditional sweets will dominate trick-or-treaters' selections. In fact, the majority of Americans (52 percent) report that they will be handing out chocolate on October 31.  Joining chocolate in the top five treats to be found in trick-or-treaters' loot this year, adults say they plan to also give:

  • Hard candy and lollipops (30 percent)
  • Chewy or gummi candy (19 percent)
  • Chewing or bubble gum (16 percent)
  • Caramel treats (14 percent)

Proving revelers are never too old to dress-up for Halloween, the national survey also demonstrates the popularity of getting into festive attire. Forty-three (43) percent of celebrants cite costumes as one of the most indispensable parts of the holiday; alongside candy as a critical must-have on Halloween night.  Added Whiteside, "a night of fun and fantasy for kids and kids at heart, candy and costumes are the cornerstones of time-honored Halloween traditions."

That's why 38 percent of respondents admitted that rain on Halloween night would be too scary to bear, as it would undoubtedly dampen Halloween spirits and trick-or-treating traditions! 

Tips for Treats

With loot to boot, little ghosts and goblins will be looking to taste test their rewards after a night of trick-or-treating. To help families enjoy a happy, healthy Halloween, NCA provides parents with tips to help their kids enjoy candy in moderation and ideas to help the sweets last past October 31.

NCA Tips for a Happy, Healthy Halloween

  • Eat before treat. Serve a healthy and nutritious dinner before your children head out to collect candy. Your kids will be happier and full, which will help reduce the temptation to eat candy at each trick-or-treat stop.
  • Sort and save. Allow your kids to enjoy some of their Halloween bounty on trick-or-treat night. Then work with them to portion out two or three treats into separate small bags to be enjoyed beyond October 31.
  • Make it or break it. Most candies are now available in snack size portions. For the ones that aren't, break them into sections and store those separately to make your own fun sizes!

NCA Tricks for Storing the Treats

  • Chocolate. Dark chocolate can be kept for one to two years if wrapped in foil and stored in a cool, dark and dry place. Milk and white chocolate have a more limited storage time-no more than eight to 10 months.
  • Hard candy (lollipops, hard mints, butterscotches). Hard candies can last up to a year when stored at room temperature in a cool, dry location.
  • Soft candies (gum drops, jellied candies). If the packaging has been opened, soft candies should be covered away from heat and light at room temperature. Stored in this manner, the candy should last six to nine months. If the packaging has not been opened, soft sweets will last approximately 12 months.
  • Candy corn. If opened, candy corn should be stored under the same conditions as soft candies and will last approximately three to six months. Unopened, packages will last about nine months.

For more information on candy, Halloween history and celebration ideas, see NCA's "Tricks and Treats for a Ghouliciously Fun Halloween" consumer guide at http://www.candyusa.com/.   For daily tips on tricks and treats, go to NCA's Candy Dish blog at http://www.candydishblog.com/.

About the National Confectioners Association (NCA): Founded in 1884 in Chicago by representatives of 69 confectionery manufacturing firms, the National Confectioners Association is one of the oldest, most respected trade associations in the world. Today NCA has more than 600 members and is the major association representing the entire confectionery industry, offering education and leadership in manufacturing, technical research, public relations, retailing practices, government relations and statistical analyses. NCA fosters industry growth by advancing and promoting the interests of the confectionery industry, its customers and its consumers.

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