As American consumers get set to buy nearly 600 million pounds of candy this Halloween, they are choosing fewer store brand or private label sweets, opting instead for brand name treats. During the year, store brands candy for an 8.1% share of candy sales, but in the weeks leading up to and including Halloween, the store brand average dips to 5.6%. The trend is the same for both chocolate and non-chocolate candy segments.
“Without a doubt, consumers continue to turn to store brands in a down economy,” said Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights, The Nielsen Company. “What we see with Halloween candy sales, however, is a sign that consumers may be ‘splurging’ with brand name products for the holiday or simply taking advantage of brand name promotions and price reductions. Candy manufacturers invest a great deal of marketing dollars to build brand equity in candy and private label candy has not been able to overcome that investment and grab significant share.”
Halloween is the biggest season for chocolate candy, with nearly 90 million pounds of chocolate candy sold during Halloween week. By comparison, nearly 65 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold during the week leading up to Easter and only 48 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold during Valentine’s week.
Consumers tend to wait until the last minute to purchase Halloween candy, either procrastinating or hoping for a better deal. The biggest candy buying days of the Halloween season are the Sunday before the holiday and on Halloween day. In total, approximately $1.9 billion (or 598 million pounds) of candy is sold during the Halloween season.