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Trick-or-Treat Tidbits

The nation's porch lights are on: *

  • 75 percent of households plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters this year. 
  • 84 percent of people over the age of 45 plan to be home to greet trick-or-treaters.
  • Folks in the Midwest are more likely to dole out candy to little ghosts and goblins than any other region.

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

  • 23 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 22 percent of parents claim not to sneak or insist on sharing Halloween candy (or just won't own up!).

The younger you are, the more likely you are to lose some candy to candy to mom and dad: *

  • Parents are most likely to help themselves after bedtime if their children are under the age of 6.
  • Teens are more likely to have parents who will let them keep the entire haul.

May I offer you a snack? *

  • 57 percent of Americans will have stocked candy bowls in their home or office in the days leading up to Halloween. 

Party on: *

  • 30 percent of Americans will attend an adult-oriented Halloween party this year; 51 percent of millennials will find themselves at a Halloween party this year.

Stock up ... unless you enjoy fishing toilet paper from your trees on November 1: *

  • 50 percent of U.S. households claim they sometimes (37 percent) or often (13 percent) run out of candy on Halloween night.
  • Parents are more likely to run out of candy (60 percent) than households without children at home.

Welcome trick-or-treaters: *

  • 61 percent of the American public will decorate their front porch or door to welcome trick-or-treaters (69 percent of households with children will do so).
  • 27 percent of people will dress in costume to welcome trick-or-treaters, though millenials (47 percent) are far more likely than other age groups to wear costumes.
  • About 13 percent of the population plans to dress up a pet on "Howl"oween (24 percent of millennials will do so).

The candy corn clash: *

  • When it comes to candy corn, 52 percent of people say it's just not Halloween without it (48 percent of people say they'd just as soon skip it).

It's OK to indulge at the holidays: *

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

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).

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.


Sources: * NCA’s 2014 consumer survey of 1,797 American adults  
+ NCA’s 2013 consumer survey of 1,335 American adults

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