Washington DC — Nearly 90 percent of parents say they will use the Halloween season as an opportunity to talk to their children about the role chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle, according to a survey conducted by NCA. The survey also reveals up to 77 percent of Americans are likely to purchase candy this year as part of their participation in traditional Halloween activities.
“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, says. “Our members make treats that embody everything that is fun about the holiday, and while there’s no doubt chocolate and candy play a crucial role in seasonal festivities, we know Americans will enjoy our products with balance in mind, just as they do throughout the rest of the year.”
Downs reinforces the proactive role America’s leading chocolate and candy companies are taking, coming together with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to provide consumers with more information, options and support as they enjoy their favorite treats. The participating companies are Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. LLC, Nestlé USA, Inc., Ferrero USA, Inc., Lindt & Sprungli USA, Ghirardelli Chocolate Co., Russell Stover, and Ferrara Candy Co.
“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 says. “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 Americans will spend $2.75 billion on treats this Halloween season, noting this 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. The NCA survey shows Americans are continuing to enjoy candy responsibly with 4 out 5 people agreeing it is perfectly fine as an occasional Halloween treat.
The survey’s other findings include:
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 respondents who say we should have candy on Halloween so long as we do so as part of a balanced lifestyle.
Parents certainly get in on the sharing during the 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 — 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 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 note their favorite candy has changed over time. Regardless of candy type, 60 percent of Americans prefer their confections in Halloween-themed wrappers or packaging.
The Association provides additional information on candy and the Halloween season, including tips and recipes, at www.CandyUSA.com/HalloweenCentral.