Newsprint rustles in the chilly, Autumn breeze, words of urgency catching your eyes. “Ghosts and Ghouls won’t be the scariest sight this Halloween season; it’s the inflated prices of sweet treats that are sending shivers down the spine.” Inflation, the unseen monster ravaging the pockets of consumers nationwide, is poised to take a bite out of the Halloween celebrations. According to a fresh report from Advantage Solutions, a prominent sales and marketing group, an astonishing four in 10 candy consumers are rattling their chains about its effect on their Halloween expenditure.
The report, ominously titled “Halloween 2023: Shoppers Reveal Plans to Spend and Celebrate,” dug deep into consumers’ spending habits ahead of this year’s All Hallows Eve. This study, conducted from September 5-7, solicited responses from over a 1,000 U.S adults who not only revel in the spirit of Halloween but also bear the torch of their households’ primary grocery responsibilities.
As the chilly October air rolls in, nearly 90% of these respondents forecasted the purchase of candy, while approximately 60% anticipated the acquisition of decorations and costumes. As a matter of fact, a whopping 72% of households with children confirmed shaking out their wallets for costumes. Surprisingly, nearly a third of the respondents disclosed plans to procure non-candy food treats to celebrate this spectral season.
We are not talking about petty change. About 55% of candy lovers are willing to shell out over $25 for their Halloween sweets, tipping the scale at one-fifth spending$50 or more. Among those expressing a fondness for edible Halloween-themed treats, nearly 60% expect to spend in excess of $25. Notably, a fourth of these consumers will elevate their spending above the $50 threshold.
“When it comes to candy selection, chocolate is the uncontested king of the night,” the report highlights. Indeed, a resounding 90% of candy buyers have confirmed they would be doling out or devouring chocolate candy. But let’s not ignore gummies, hard candy and lollipops, capturing the preference of 60%, 40%, and 40% of the consumer market, respectively.
Our choice of candy isn’t just a matter of taste but also price sensitivity. A decisive 33% of consumers identified price as the most vital factor influencing their candy purchases this Halloween. Concurrently, 29% adjudicated individual or family preferences to be essential, with 10% considering package size to be the prime decisive factor.
Ghoulishly peering close to Halloween, about half of the consumers will make their candy purchases a week, or less, before the holiday, with 17% waiting for the goosebump-inducing three days before Halloween to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Those planning to play the gracious host to trick-or-treaters aren’t running scared from the inflation monster. A staggering 75% of individuals will hand out candy at the door, with a paltry 13% opting to leave an unattended bowl outside. The generosity index sits high–41% will gift three to four pieces of candy, 35% will hand out two pieces, and only 8% will dare to offer a single piece.
Andy Keenan, the Executive Vice President Retail Services at Advantage Solutions, in an ominous warning, added, “Nine in 10 grocery shoppers will buy Halloween candy and nearly three-fourths of them will walk into stores during the last two weeks of October looking for their favorite treats at a perceived value.” Keenan emphasizes the vital importance for retail outlets to keep these products readily available, especially during the countdown to Halloween.
Inflation ain’t no ghost story, but we can’t let it spook us out of the bones and blood of Halloween: camaraderie, generosity, and good old-fashioned fun. Even amidst soaring prices, the American spirit remains unbowed, committed to joyful revelry against this spectral menace of inflation. As this ghoulish season lurks around the corner, candy companies and dedicated trick-or-treaters persevere, facing the grim challenge head-on in our relentless pursuit of the sapphire in the candy haul. Block out the chill wind of inflation, America, it’s time to trick-or-treat, come what may.