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Shoppers say inflation will impact their Halloween candy spending

A new study indicates that 41% of shoppers will be cautious in their spending

After a year marked by rising prices, four in 10 Halloween candy buyers say inflation will impact their plans to buy the sweet treats, according to a new report from retailer-focused sales and marketing group Advantage Solutions. 

Among that group, the report says that half expect to spend the same amount but buy less candy due to higher prices and about three in 10 anticipate spending less and buying less candy. One in six say they plan to pay more to account for higher prices.

The report, “Halloween 2023: Shoppers Reveal Plans to Spend and Celebrate,” is based on a September 5-7 Advantage Solutions survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults who celebrate Halloween and are their household’s primary grocery shopper or share the responsibility.

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • Nearly nine in 10 survey respondents plan to purchase candy, and about six in 10 plan to buy decorations and costumes (72% of those with children will buy costumes). Nearly three in 10 will buy food treats other than candy
  • More than half (55%) of Halloween candy buyers will spend more than $25 on confections this year ― with one-fifth planning to spend more than $50. Almost 60% of those buying other Halloween-themed edible treats will spend more than $25 on these food products — and one-fourth of them will spend more than $50 on these food items
  • Chocolate will reign supreme again this Halloween, as nearly 90% of candy buyers say they’ll be eating or treating others to chocolate candy. Almost 60% will pick up gummies and nearly half of Halloween candy buyers (45%) will put sour candy in their physical or digital carts. More than 40% will purchase hard candy and/or lollipops. Nearly three in 10 (28%) will be buying gum
  • The top two factors influencing shoppers’ Halloween candy purchases are price (33% ranked this the most important factor) and individual or family candy preferences (29%). For 10% of candy buyers, package size matters most, with many looking for full-size or Halloween-sized candies
  • About half (48%) of candy buyers will make their purchases a week or less before Halloween, and 17% will buy their candy within three days of the holiday
  • Among those handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, 75% will distribute treats at the door, while only 13% will leave an unattended bowl outside. Of those handing out candy, 41% will give three to four pieces of candy, 35% will distribute two pieces and only 8% will offer one piece

“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,” said Andy Keenan, executive vice president retail services at Advantage Solutions. “Keeping these products on the shelf and in displays couldn’t be more critical for both candy brands and retailers, especially during the run-up to Halloween when shoppers are most active.”

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