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Halloween 2003 Sales Summary

December 1, 2003

Retail Sales Summary

Distribution Channel% Change vs. Year Ago
Food Outlets-0.4%
Retail Drug Stores+2.5%
Mass Outlets Excluding Wal-Mart-8.4%
Estimated Wal-Mart*+4.0%
Estimated Food, Drug, Mass & Wal-Mart*+0.7%

*It has become more difficult to establish a firm sales figure for holiday candy sales since IRI stopped reporting scan data for the U.S.’s largest retailer Wal-Mart. Below, we report on Halloween sales by channel and make an estimate on Halloween sales at Wal-Mart.

Halloween candy sales were particularly strong at retail drug store outlets and Wal-Mart, continuing a trend of seasonal candy sales shifting from supermarkets to other trade channels. This year there was a very strong early selling season to the Halloween sales period. September sales of Halloween candy increased at a faster rate than during October. This could indicate that retailers did not buy-in large quantities and were faced with limited inventories as Halloween approached. Branded give-away candies continued to generate a larger share of the Halloween business, as product packaged for Halloween (i.e. packaging with witches and ghosts), saw sales slip.