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Trick or Treat! A Deep-dive in Halloween Candy

October 28th, 2021

By: Camille Rochaix

Halloween is just around the corner, so that means three things: spooky events, costumes, and most importantly, candy. For a marketer, it also means $$$, especially for candy brands like Mars Wrigley. The National Retail Foundation predicts that this year Halloween spending will reach a record high of $10.1 Billion. Last year’s spending only hit $8.2 billion, but this may have been due to the uncertainty of having Halloween during the pandemic. Marketers had to be creative in how they sold their candy, as fewer consumers were going out for Halloween. This year, however, the National Confectioners Association survey found that 82% of consumers planned to participate in Halloween.

Candy brands traditionally celebrate this spooky holiday season by releasing seasonal Halloween-themed candy. Last year required brands to be more creative, and this year has candy brands bringing the same stepped-up creative ante. In order to make their candy more memorable, candy brands no longer only focus on TV video-form advertising but also incorporate other media channels and parts of the promotional mix such as experiential marketing, PR, influencer marketing, and more.

  • 2021 Top Halloween Candy brands:

Hershey’s, Reese’s, Oreo’s, Barnett’s Fine Biscotti, and Kit Kat

  • Two popular features people consider when purchasing Halloween candy: Individually Wrapped & Gluten Free

  • The flavor Tangerine has seen 71.4% growth in consumer discussions this year.


Reese’s x NextDoor: Treat Map

In 2020, Reese’s partnered with Nextdoor to help consumers find which neighbors were participating in trick or treating. This year, this campaign is back and now available for consumers to browse on the Nextdoor app.

Shipt and Mars Wrigley: Treat Map & Trick or Cheat Sheet

Shipt and Mars also offer consumers who are unsure how many bags of candy they should buy an equation to help solve their troubles.

(T*K*G) + (D*F*S) = Total Candy Pieces / by 30 = # Bags of candy

  • T = the time, in number of hours, you plan to leave the light on

  • K = estimated number of kids per hour that ring the doorbell

  • G = the generosity factor (how many pieces will be distributed to each trick-or-treater)

  • D = the number of days between the initial candy purchase and Halloween

  • F = the number of family members in the household

  • S = the sneaky factor (average pieces of candy each member of the household will eat per day)

Butterfingers Investigators

What is the most irrational fear you had during Halloween as a kid? Mine was that my parents would eat my Halloween candy. Often, my fear was rational, as I would catch my parents eating my candy, and I would feel incredibly betrayed. Jimmy Kimmel even played on this fear, by starting the viral YouTube challenge “I Told My Kids I Ate Their Halloween Candy”. Butterfingers considers parents eating their children’s candy the ultimate crime, and they have created a dedicated website for guilty parents to “fess up and win a prize” called “the Butterfinger Investigators”.

Cool Halloween Candy Packaging to Return or Debut in the 2021 Halloween Season

(source IG @candyhunting)


Camille Rochaix is Marketing Society's 2021-2022 Co-President and Founder & Editor of the Marketing Society Blog. Camille is currently a Senior at NYU Stern concentrating in Marketing and minoring in Media, Culture and Communications, and Business of Entertainment, Media & Technology.

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