While there are still questions about whether trick-or-treating will happen in 2020 and how neighborhoods will make it possible, there is no question Americans like their Halloween candy.
Sales of Halloween candy and chocolate at grocery stores are up 17 percent over 2019 so far this season, according to the National Confectioners Association. Total sales, including online purchases, is up 13 percent year-over-year.
The National Confectioners Association, NCA, represents manufacturers and suppliers of sweet treats, gum, mints and chocolates.
Their research showed chocolate is driving the increase. Halloween chocolate sales are up 25 percent over 2019 so far. The NCA released data over the summer showing chocolate was the treat of choice of Americans during the pandemic, with sales increasing five percent March through August over the same time period in 2019. Sales of premium chocolate during that time was up 12 percent year-over-year.
Ferrara Candy, which makes Sweetarts, Nerds, Brach’s Candy Corn, Gobstoppers and more, said Halloween sales bring in about $4.5 billion in sales. In an interview with Axios, CEO Todd Siwak said their company learned a lot from the drop in sales for Easter. This was also the time many stores were closing because of lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Even as shopping has picked up a little, they have made some changes.
“As the frequency in-store is reduced by the shopper, so fewer trips but bigger baskets, we wanted to make sure we were there presenting the opportunity to consumers,” Siwak said. He added Ferrara Candy created more individually-wrapped confections and got product to stores earlier to extend the selling season.
There are still about three weeks until Halloween, and the industry expects sales to increase. Siwak says about 60 percent of the sales for Halloween candy happen in the last few weeks before the holiday.
The NCA data also suggested Americans are getting more excited for Halloween in 2020. They found 80 percent believe they will find creative and safe ways to celebrate this year. The response was just 63 percent in July.