Parents Teach Their Children about Balance while Celebrating the Fun and Enjoyment of the Halloween Season


Three-quarters of Americans celebrate the season with chocolate and candy

WASHINGTON (October 3, 2017) – Nearly 90 percent of parents will use the Halloween season as an opportunity to talk to their children about the unique role that chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle, according to a National Confectioners Association survey. The survey also revealed that up to 77 percent of Americans are likely to purchase candy to participate in traditional Halloween activities this year. Small packages and Halloween-themed chocolate and candy are among the items likely to be spotted in shopping carts this year.

“It’s a fall tradition that Halloween brings fun and enjoyment to neighborhoods across the country, and we know that chocolate and candy are often the centerpiece of Halloween celebrations,” John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said. “Our members make treats that embody everything that is fun about the holiday, and while there’s no doubt that chocolate and candy play a crucial role in seasonal festivities, we know Americans will enjoy our products with balance in mind as they do throughout the rest of the year.”

Earlier this year, America’s leading chocolate and candy companies announced that they are coming together with the Partnership for a Healthier America to provide consumers with more information, options and support as they enjoy their favorite treats. The companies include Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Nestlé USA, Ferrero, Lindt, Ghirardelli, Russell Stover, and Ferrara Candy Company. PHA will report independent, third-party verification of the commitment, and progress will be monitored by PHA in conjunction with a well-respected policy research organization called Hudson Institute.

“Chocolate and candy have always been a treat, and this is a big commitment by the participating companies to keep it that way, and at the same time satisfy consumers’ changing tastes and desires,” Downs said. “This Halloween season, we continue to work to help consumers’ manage their sugar intake and ensure that they feel empowered to make informed choices during this holiday season and all year long.”

NCA estimates that Americans will spend $2.75 billion on treats this Halloween season – revenue that helps support the 55,000 people directly employed by candy makers and more than 400,000 additional Americans whose jobs rely in part on the sale of confections. Despite this important economic boost, the NCA survey shows that Americans are continuing to enjoy candy responsibly with 4 out 5 people agreeing that it’s perfectly fine as an occasional Halloween treat.

The survey’s other findings include:

Achieving Balance
The vast majority of Americans (85 percent) give out miniature or snack-size candy during Halloween season. These little treats make enjoying candy responsibly easier for the 80 percent of people that believe we should have candy on Halloween so long as we do so as part of a balanced lifestyle.

Keeping an Eye on the Candy Stash
Parents certainly get in on the sharing during Halloween season, with 72 percent saying they sample their children’s Halloween stashes whether the children know it or not. Eighty-five percent of parents have a plan for helping their children enjoy candy in moderation in the days after Halloween. Some (37 percent) establish a specific number of pieces their children can have each day, while others (26 percent) take full responsibility as gatekeeper by doling out the candy themselves. Other tactics include agreeing to an overall amount of candy children can keep or setting guidelines based on a general calorie count.

Chocolate Remains America’s Favorite
Chocolate in all its varieties is the star of Halloween season, with 68 percent of people saying it is their favorite Halloween treat. Traditional Halloween candy corn comes in second with 10 percent enjoying it the most. Chewy candy is preferred by 7 percent of people, as is gummy candy. The remaining 9 percent includes everyone who named another type candy as their favorite including gum or mints, lollipops, caramels and licorice. More than one quarter of adults noted that their favorite candy has changed over time. Regardless of candy type, 60 percent of Americans prefer their confections in Halloween-themed wrappers or packaging.

For more information about candy and the Halloween season, including tips and recipes, please visit

Survey Methodology
NCA’s 2016 Seasonal Survey was conducted by 210 Analytics, LLC using a database comprised of several million respondents who have agreed to participate in survey research. Interviews took place using a self-administered, online questionnaire. To maintain the reliability and integrity in the sample, each invitation contained a password that is uniquely assigned to that email address and must be entered at the beginning of the survey. Web-assisted interviewing software is used to control quotas in order to mirror the census profile in terms of key demographics such as age, income, region and other factors. The survey was completed by 1,391 individuals in October 2016. The margin of error is +/-2.7%.

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The National Confectioners Association is the trade organization that advances, protects and promotes chocolate, candy, gum and mints, and the companies that make these special treats. As the leading association for the $35 billion U.S. confectionery industry, NCA educates the public to help ensure that it understands and appreciates the unique role that chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle. Confections are produced in all 50 states, creating jobs for approximately 55,000 workers in more than 1,000 manufacturing facilities across the country. More than 400,000 jobs in agriculture, retail, transportation and other industries rely in part on the sale of confections for their livelihood. For every one job that is created by confectionery companies, another seven are supported in related industries. Learn more about the “Power of Sweet” at, or follow NCA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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