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Trick-or-Treat Tidbits*

The nation's porch lights are on:

  • 74 percent of households plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters this year (80 percent of households with children will do so)

How much candy can you expect?                                                                                                   

  • 72 percent of households will hand out two (50 percent) or three (22 percent) pieces of candy per trick-or-treater

Pick whatever costume you like, it probably won't influence how much candy you collect:

  • Nearly 60 percent of households say that an original or cute costume has no bearing on the amount of candy they dispense, but men (48 percent) are more likely than women (39 percent) to reward creativity

We want our chocolate:

  • Nearly 3/4 of Americans (72 percent) say that chocolate is their favorite Halloween treat
    • Chocolate scored top points among all age groups, but was most popular among those ages 45 to 60 who preferred it over other candies by 78 percent (compared to 68 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds).  
    • Love it or hate it (we love it!), candy corn came in a distant second, garnering about 12 percent of the vote
      • Speaking of candy corn, about 47 percent of people believe it's best to eat the whole piece of candy corn at once, while 43 percent of people think it's proper to start with the narrow white end

Shopper preference drives Halloween candy selections:

  • More than six in 10 shoppers choose their own favorites when picking out Halloween candy
  • Four in 10 shoppers take into consideration their families' preferences or let price, sales and promotions decide the purchase
  • In contrast, only two in 10 shoppers decide on Halloween candy based solely on its reputation as a seasonal classic

There's no agreement on who is in charge:

  • There's a nearly even split between those households that let the trick-or-treater select his or her own treat from the candy bowl (51 percent) and those who select candy for the little witches, ghosts, and goblins who darken the doorstep (49 percent)
    • The younger the person who answers the door, the more likely they are to let the trick-or-treaters make their own selections (57 percent of those under age 30 allow kids to pick out their own treat vs. only 38 percent of those over 60)

81 percent of parents confess that they take candy from their child's Halloween haul (or other seasonal candy collections):

  • 26 percent of parents wait until their kids go to bed or school before sneaking some sweets
  • 55 percent have a house rule that everyone must share
  • A surprising 19 percent of parents claim not to sneak or insist on sharing Halloween candy

Watch out for Mom; she’s more likely to help herself:

  • Women (84 percent) are more likely to sneak candy or insist on a family rule that mandates sharing than men (74 percent)

When it comes to seasonal candy, adults are the gatekeepers:

  • 41 percent of parents say they limit their child's consumption to "a couple of pieces a day" until the candy runs out
  • 24 percent say they take responsibility for the candy and dole it out as they feel is appropriate
  • 13 percent of parents limit consumption to a certain number of pieces in total and take the rest away

It's OK to indulge at the holidays:

  • 74 percent of those surveyed agree that eating healthfully can include the enjoyment of seasonal candy


Source: *NCA’s 2013 consumer survey of 1,335 American adults