A treat for Halloween: After a failed year in 2020, manufacturers say candy is already flying off the shelves

After a mild scare in 2020, Halloween is shaping up to be a treat for candy makers this year.

With COVID vaccination numbers rising and new cases plummeting, more Canadians are stocking up for tricks or treats this year, the retailers’ makers say.

“We sell everything we do. If we could do more, we would, ”said Martin Parent, president of the Canadian branch of Mondelez International, which has perennial favorites like Caramilk, Mr. Big and Wunderbar.

At supermarket giant Loblaw Cos., Customers have been buying bags and boxes of Halloween candy like they’re going out of style, according to spokeswoman Catherine Thomas.

“We are seeing strong early sales, better than last year (when more people bought for home consumption due to restrictions) and stronger than before the pandemic,” Thomas said, adding that there is no indication that those strong sales are about to stop. .

“We hope that continues through the end of the month as the celebrations and trick-or-treating return to normal. Clients seem to be excited about the upcoming vacation and planning a little earlier than they used to, ”said Thomas.

Along with a large increase in sales of the small-sized candy bars that are typically bought in the box and delivered on Halloween, Parent says Mondelez is also noticing that Canadians seem to be maintaining some of the snacking habits they acquired. during COVID. And that includes strong sales of full-size bars.

Before Halloween last year, candy makers and retailers worried that a lack of tricks or treats would lead to a drop in candy sales. Turns out, we like our treats too much to allow something like a global pandemic to get in our way.

“Instead of buying the small sizes last year and delivering them to the door, people would stay home and celebrate with their family, and buy the full-size ones,” Parent said.

Last year, provincial health officials recommended not asking for candy to slow the spread of COVID. This year, Ontario Medical Health Officer Dr. Kieran Moore gave a tentative thumbs-up gesture, saying the trick or treating is fine as long as you don’t yell “too exuberant.”

“You clearly have to make your presence known to receive your treat, and you have to be able to knock on the door and ask for the treat. We only ask that it not be produced at a high volume that can potentially be aerosolized. It’s a great precaution, ”Moore told reporters Thursday.

A recent consumer survey published by market research firm Numerator found that two-thirds of Canadians say their Halloween budget will be the same as usual. Fifteen percent expect to spend more than usual, while just under 20 percent say their Halloween budget will be lower than usual.

This year, minibar sales have picked up along with trick-or-treating optimism, but full-size bar sales have not declined to compensate, Parent said.

“We started planning in January and February. And based on what we were seeing with vaccination rates, we thought we would see a 30 to 50 percent increase in mini sales, and that’s what we’re seeing, ”Parent added.

At candy giant Hershey Co., they’re seeing a similar pattern, company spokeswoman Allison Kleinfelter said.

Last year, Kleinfelter said, consumers baked, decorated and celebrated more at home than usual in the weeks leading up to Halloween, more than offsetting a drop in trick-or-treating sales.

“The trick or treating was affected last year. However, Halloween candy sales were the highest to date, ”said Kleinfelter.

This year, some of those new ways to celebrate remain, he added.

“Last year, more consumers participated in the season in various ways and many continue with new rituals (baking, movie nights, decorating),” said Kleinfelter.


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