So, the other day while staring down a fully loaded family-size bag of Reese’s Cups, I began to wonder… “How much candy do we consume during this health-haunting holiday?” In a future article we will discuss the impact of cookies
on Christmas, I digress.
According to NielsenWire, Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy during the weeks surrounding Halloween. For further insight, the United States’ estimated population currently sits at approximately 315 million people. That’s a whopping 1.9 pounds of candy per person! Also, the National Confectioner’s Association estimates the average American spends $7.36 on Halloween candy annually.
Let’s dig deeper into a few more eye-popping consumption statistics. Specifically, chocolate and candy corn dominate the bulk majority of Halloween candy sales. Seems logical, but how much money are we talking about? Of the $1.9 billion worth of candy sold each Halloween season, chocolate sales represent an astonishing $1.2 billion alone! And, with respect to shear volume, we purchase over 20 million pounds of candy corn every Halloween. Even though 5% of these chewy sugar-laced treats find their way to the bottom of our shoes and behind our living room sofas, we should ask the question: who’s eating all this candy corn? Surprisingly, a free tool called Google Trends reveals the states most frequently searching for candy corn through Google. In order, take a look at the biggest culprits: West Virginia, Alabama, Utah, & Kentucky.
Without much consideration for their health, children lose sleep fighting the anticipation of repeatedly ringing door bells, saying three magic words, digging their hands into bowls filled with free awesomeness, and turning into sugar-crazed animals. Keep in mind, moms and dads, 600 million pounds. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize Halloween as a contributor to the child obesity problem. Here in America, with a child obesity incidence of 33%, maybe we should think twice about handing out bushels of candy each year… Nah.
Time to reflect. Think back to your childhood Halloween experiences. Now consider your 12-year-old self’s possible reaction to receiving a pack of apple slices, carrots, or beets; you might retaliate with a few toilet paper rolls and / or a couple eggs. True story: my neighbor once dropped two slices of scorched toast into my candy sack. Needless to say, he found a surprise in his mailbox the next day. So, in retrospect, maybe you should consider the safety of your home.
Halloween attracts more than just children. Each October, candy seemingly fills every nook and cranny of office buildings, breweries produce specialty pumpkin beers, and adult-themed Halloween party invites flood mailboxes keeping the “sexy” costume business alive and flourishing. Don’t worry about those five “mini” snickers you just inhaled, you’ll still look good in that oh-so original, risqué cop uniform… Right? Sure you will, just hit the gym a little harder or stay a bit longer on the home elliptical machine. Enjoy yourself.
Before I end, according to Google Trends, West Virginia also searches more for “sexy Halloween costumes” than any other state. Interesting.