In U.S., Higher Prices Haunt Halloween Revelers

In U.S., Higher Prices Haunt Halloween Revelers

Despite higher prices for candy and costume accessories this year, U.S. consumers are expected to purchase more than $1.9 billion in candy for Halloween, Nielsen reported Tuesday.

Costume hair coloring products showed the largest price increase — up 126% to an average of $4.42 this year.  On average, candy prices are up 2.9% this year, with chocolate candy prices up an average of 4.2%.

Despite that price hike, chocolate candy is expected to account for $1.2 billion of Halloween candy sales, while non-chocolate candy will account for nearly $672 million, according to Nielsen. 

Halloween generates the greatest sales volume of sweets for the entire year, with more than one-third (35%) of total annual sales of chocolate miniatures, 36% of non-chocolate miniatures, 25% of lollipops, and 18% of bubble gum sales taking place during the Halloween season. 

Consumers typically wait until the last minute to purchase their Halloween candy.  Last year, weekly candy sales more than doubled between early October ($196 million in sales) and October 31 ($436 million in sales), with most candy sales occurring on October 28 — just three days before Halloween.

Given the current economic conditions, that trend will likely continue this year. 

“In today’s tough economy, it’s very possible we will see more consumers waiting to buy candy, as budget conscious consumers wait for the biggest bargains,” Tom Pirovano, director of Industry Insights, Nielsen, noted.

View the full press release.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in the (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Gourmet Retailer, Marketing VOX, Radio Business Report, and Progressive Grocer.