Avoiding Halloween Treats Proves Tricky

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Whether or not you’re going trick or treating this Halloween, chances are you’ll be treating yourself. The vast majority of children and about half of adults eat candy on Halloween and about 4% of all U.S. candy consumption happens on the spooky holiday, according to market research reported in USA Today.

On a typical day, about a quarter of adults and kids will have candy, but on Halloween that number shoots up to 87% for kids 6 to 8 years old, and 46-54% for adult men and women. About three quarters of children ages 5 and under will also indulge their sweet tooth.

Research into eating trends done by the NPD Group found that adults tend to prefer chocolate candy and that kids eat about four times as many hard and chewy treats (which tend to be worse for teeth) as adults. A recent survey conducted by the National Confectioners Association found that 81% of parents admitted to sampling from their children’s candy collection.

The survey also showed that about 72% of the money spent on Halloween treat will be on chocolate. About two thirds of people buy a mix of chocolate and non-chocolate candy to give out on Halloween, while 20% buy a mix of chocolates. Chocolate spending in the U.S. has been on the rise in recent years.

Don’t be surprised to see a lot of peanut butter snacks in your kids’ Halloween booty, too. Reese’s cups are the top selling chocolate candy in the U.S., and snack-sized packages are particularly popular. While M&M’s are the second best-selling chocolate candy, they are only eighth among snack-sized brands. Snickers, Hershey’s and Kit Kat come in third, fourth and fifth respectively.