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Will Inflation Spook Candy Shoppers Before Halloween?

Halloween Day is fast approaching as adults gear up for themed parties and children get excited to dress up and gorge themselves on sweets of all varieties. It should come as no surprise that the month of October is historically a pleasant one for candy and chocolate manufacturers and sellers. However, inflation and higher interest rates have put the squeeze on North American consumers. Could this negatively impact candy and chocolate sales this month?

Like many communal activities, the COVID-19 pandemic cast a shadow over the regular Halloween festivities. Fortunately, we have returned to business as usual as a society. Back in October 2021, the National Confectioners Association revealed that the eight weeks ending October 4 compared to the same period in 2020 witnessed a 48% increase in total Halloween chocolate and candy sales. Meanwhile, retailers reported a 26.9% jump in Halloween-specific items per store.

Candy and chocolate companies should be enjoying yet another busy season in October 2023. However, there are some reports that suggest inflation may play a role in how candy and chocolate sales shake out this year. Advantage Solutions recently released a survey that saw nearly nine in 10 respondents say that they plan to purchase candy for the festivities. Moreover, six in 10 said they plan to purchase decorations and costumes.

According to the survey, the top two factors influencing shoppers during the Halloween season are price and individual or family candy preference. Nearly half of consumers said they plan to purchase candy and chocolate in the week before Halloween Day. As far as inflation is concerned, less than half of respondents said they expected to spend less and buy less candy. Investors will want to keep a close eye on how sales shake out when October reports are unveiled.