Halloween is fast approaching, bringing with it plenty of costume-clad consumers looking for candy. According to The Nielsen Company, U.S. consumers are expected to purchase more than $2.1 billion in candy this Halloween season. The holiday generates the greatest sales volume of sweets for the entire year, with candy sales expected to jump nearly 63% compared to the previous 10-week period.
“There’s no doubt about it–when doorbells ring on Oct. 31, consumers respond with candy, and lots of it,” said Todd Hale, senior vice president of Consumer & Shopping Insights, Nielsen Consumer Panel Services. “The quantities are big, but the sizes are small. Our review of the Halloween season shows that the overwhelming majority of consumers choose to give miniature candy to trick-or-treaters.”
Chocolate and non-chocolate miniature candy generated more than a third (39%) of its annual dollar sales during the Halloween season last year, in comparison to the total candy category, which saw 22% of annual dollar sales in the same period.
Nielsen found that sales jump during Halloween for other spooky and savory items. Eighty-nine percent of annual costume hair coloring sales occur during the 10 weeks leading up to and including Halloween, as do 36% of sales of both refrigerated and shelved ciders and 28% of lollipops.
While shoppers nationwide are adding candy to their shopping carts, Nielsen’s analysis of 52 major U.S. markets shows that residents of the Salt Lake City/Boise metropolitan area bought 80% more candy than would be expected for a market its size, followed by Seattle and Portland, Ore.
Regardless of their location, shoppers appear to leave their Halloween candy purchases until almost the last minute. Nielsen’s data shows that Oct. 29 and April 15 (the day before Easter Sunday) were the top two days in terms of dollar sales last year. Halloween Day also ranks in the top 10.