This article first appeared on Medium.com where I will be posting periodic opinion pieces in the future.
Halloween is a festive time for people of all ages filled with fun events and sweet treats. At the National Confectioners Association, Halloween is a time for celebration. Whether they opt for traditional treats like candy corn or one of the innovative new products just hitting the shelves, we know that Americans appreciate the unique role that candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle.
Candy is certainly an important part of Halloween traditions. As a parent, I know firsthand the joy of watching children’s faces light up as they show off their costumes and share a goodie from their trick or treat stash. I also know Halloween is a great time to teach kids the importance of enjoying treats in moderation.
We know that Americans already understand moderation, with most people enjoying candy 2–3 times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day. And parents are embracing moments like Halloween to teach their children about the unique role that candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle.
Nearly 90 percent of parents say they talk to their children about moderation, and plan to use Halloween as a special learning moment. Parents also prioritize moderation in a number of different ways. Some do it by limiting the number of pieces of candy their children can have each day, others by limiting the overall amount of candy their children can collect, or by setting guidelines based on general calorie counts. All of these are great ways families can stick to moderation this Halloween.
The candy industry does its part to help parents and all Americans celebrate in moderation by packaging its products into bite- and snack-size options. These nuggets of chocolate, chewy, and gummy flavors provide tasty treats for Halloween. Americans certainly appreciate these options too, with 85 percent saying they pass out small portions to trick-or-treaters.
Candy companies also ensure ingredient information is easy to see and understand. With our front of pack labeling program, we’re providing consumers with easy-to-read calorie information right at their fingertips. This is just one of the many ways that America’s candy companies are doing their part to help consumers make the choices that are right for them and their families.
While Americans enjoy giving out candy on Halloween, the candy industry enjoys giving back to American communities all year long. With more than 55,000 direct employees, candy makers spur economic activity in all fifty states. The industry also supports an additional 410,000 workers in industries like transportation, agriculture and retail.
The U.S. candy industry is the classic American manufacturing success story with a history that extends back to the 19th century when many of the most notable candy companies got their start. Numerous household names are still run by the family names on the packaging, and the same communities have manufactured treasured treats for decades. This makes candy jobs not only important to our national economy, but a lifeline to small towns and cities across the country where more than 1,000 candy-making facilities call home.
At NCA we are excited to be celebrating another Halloween. As candy makers have for decades, our products will honor holiday traditions and present something new for consumers to try. We are proud to make products that are honest, authentic, transparent, fun and affordable. Most importantly, we will continue to serve consumers’ interests by providing the information, support and choices in confectionery that help consumers make the decisions that are right for themselves and for their families.