This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday, which usually engenders a comfy feeling for the confectionery industry. Saturday is clearly the best day for partying, tot-style and otherwise, and sales of candy and other fun stuff reflect higher participation. However, with efforts to contain COVID-19 disrupting pretty much everything this year, how will Halloween 2020 preserve the fun?
Maybe you’re groaning, “It’s too early, still August!” Well, Halloween candy packs are already on sale. Confectionery companies want to make sure folks have enough time to buy their favorite selections, both in store and through online orders. And let’s be real: You buy that bag of peanut butter cups now, you’re going to need another (six) between now and Oct. 31.
Candy makers may hope so, anyway. Even though trick-or-treating is an outdoor sport, this year it may be more limited in scale as families stick close to home. Industry surveys show fewer neighbors expect to be handing out candy, and we may see a lot more unattended candy bowls outside with the decorations. Over the last decade, many communities have added alternatives such as daytime treating on Main Streets or at local malls—those options are probably off the table this year.
Candy companies anticipate smaller, family gatherings this October but still expect a rock-solid need among us to enjoy the taste of the season. They will work to offset loss of sales for trick or treaters with more volumes directed to in-home enjoyment.
Will we see a lot of pumpkin- and monster-mouth face masks? Seems like a safe bet—I totally want a spiky-toothed pumpkin-mouth mask! Maybe with the mask in place, I’ll only go through three bags of peanut butter cups, a Halloween miracle.