Millennials Have Hope for Halloween

From Progressive Grocer, Aug. 7: 

Despite pandemic worries, Halloween will still happen – with a few adjustments. According to a poll conducted by data intelligence company Morning Consult for the National Confectioners Association (NCA), 63% of adults said that people will find creative, fun and safe ways to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve in 2020.

Further, in a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of NCA, 74% of Millennial moms and young parents said that the annual scare fest is more important than ever this year, given the health and economic difficulties that Americans are currently facing.

“Consumers report that they will be getting creative throughout the month of October to make sure that they can stay safe and still enjoy the Halloween season,” noted John Downs, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NCA. “The results of our research reveal a deeply rooted enthusiasm for Halloween, even if it means that people have to rethink their approach this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Harris Poll found that a vast majority of respondents said that they couldn’t imagine Halloween without chocolate and candy, and that the practice of trick-or-treating was irreplaceable – that included 80% of the general public and 90% of Millennial moms and young parents. Meanwhile, an independent survey from Insight to Action found that 70% of moms planned to celebrate this year's Halloween season with their children.

There will be regional differences across the country in terms of how communities choose to celebrate the Halloween season, but one thing is for sure – Halloween is happening,” observed Downs. “As we look to our leaders in public health across the country for safety guidance, we want to share what we know about how people are approaching the Halloween season.”

According to the Harris Poll’s research, 75% of Americans and 91% of Millennial moms and young parents agreed that chocolate and candy were central to consumers’ emotional well-being and played a major role in celebrations, particularly Halloween. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that people in the United States consume chocolate and candy two to three times per week, including on Halloween.

The Halloween season – the eight weeks leading up to Oct. 31 – accounts for about $4.6 billion in confectionery sales annually, and a 2020 NCA market analysis showed that chocolate sales were up about 4.5% since mid-March, versus 2.2% growth in all of 2019.

“Chocolate and candy have been very resilient in this COVID-19 environment,” affirmed Downs. “Consumers appreciate and value chocolate and candy during these uncertain times because of their uncanny ability to boost your mood and lighten your perspective.”

The Morning Consult poll was conducted July 24-26 among a national sample of 2,200 adults. The interviews were conducted online, and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points. The Harris Poll survey was conducted June 16-24 among a national sample of 1,000 adults, with over samples of 200 Gen Z, 200 Millennial moms/young parents and 400 opinion elites. The interviews were conducted online.