The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

Treat Right at Halloween

Treat Right at Halloween

Shoppers and Trends

October 29, 2013

Pumpkin spice lattes have appeared at your local coffee shop and your neighbor’s house is adorned with spider webs and cardboard tombstones – it must be Halloween.

With goodies galore being purchased and distributed this month, it’s a good time to review moderation as it relates to candy. Halloween is fun part of culture and holiday traditions and we can’t – and shouldn’t – deny candy’s important role in the holiday. But, we don’t have to go overboard either.

Trick-or-treating is one of the most time-honored traditions of the Halloween season. Largely an American custom, trick-or-treating was popularized in the 1950s by the Baby Boom generation. Its roots stem from 9th or 10th century Gaelic Ireland and other Celtic regions where disguises were worn to hide from spirits passing from one world to the next on All Hallows' Eve and food was placed outside the home to sustain the hungry souls. The candy collected by costumed children today harkens back to that time.

In a recent survey of more 1,300 consumers, The National Confectioners Association (NCA) learned that most parents have a plan on how to manage their child’s consumption of candy after Halloween. Our survey showed that 78 percent of parents serve as the Halloween candy gatekeepers by limiting candy to a couple of pieces per day until the candy runs out (41 percent), taking responsibility for the candy and doling it out as they feel is appropriate (24 percent) or limiting consumption to a certain number of pieces in total and removing the rest from the house (13 percent). 

More than half of U.S. households have instituted a rule that Halloween candy must be shared. In addition, three out of four people believe that eating healthfully can include the enjoyment of seasonal candy. 

NCA offers resources that can help people understand what enjoying candy in moderation means including moderation guides and these tips for enjoying candy in moderation that can be used on corporate websites, store signage or other materials. We also have meal planning options that incorporate moderate amounts of candy. Let Halloween be fun with a plan in place!

For more information on enjoying your candy responsibly, visit the Treat Right section of NCA’s website. Also, you are invited to participate in NCA’s Halloween confectionery sales review at no cost on Thursday, December 5th at 1 p.m. ET. During this complimentary, interactive webinar, NCA's Larry Wilson will take a closer look at retail sales numbers around candy's biggest selling season, Halloween, and share trends on seasonal merchandising, promotion and consumer’s buying habits. Participants will also come away with insights into how best to prepare for this holiday in 2014. Click here to register.