by Julie Ross

While grocery shopping on a blazing hot day in mid-August, I suddenly came face- to-face with a large witch. She had a crazed look in her eye, as witches often do. Behind her were shelves stuffed with hundreds upon hundreds of bags of candy.
It took me a moment, it being summertime and all, to realize this was a display for Hallowe’en, enticing shoppers to stock up on goodies early, only to gobble them all up by Labor Day and have to re-stock (at least once, maybe twice) for the trick-or-treating crowd on October 31. Marketing genius.
In any case, my encounter with the witch made me think back to what a bust Hallowe’en was last year, with festivities severely curtailed by the pandemic. This fall is not likely to be much better what with the coronavirus variant on the rampage.
I know a lot of us will try to find a way to safely accommodate trick-or-treaters this year, perhaps by setting up a help-yourself table of goodies monitored from a distance, as some did in 2020. There is one thing I can say for sure that will help make Hallowe’en a success, and that is to offer a popular candy.
But what to choose? A quick internet search for “favorite candy” led me to the National Confectioners Association (NCA) website. I learned that the NCA is a trade organization that “promotes the unique role of chocolate, candy, gum, and mints in a happy balanced lifestyle.” The organization works to ensure that “chocolate and candy are celebrated for their contributions to culture, society, the economy and (best of all) everyday moments of joy. Well, who doesn’t want a happy balanced lifestyle with everyday moments of joy? Brilliant.
The NCA also had the answer to my question. The organization states that Snickers is the number one favorite candy not just in the United States, but in the entire world. And not only are the chocolate-covered layers of caramel, peanuts, and nougat delicious, but the bar was named in 1930 after the Mars candy family’s favorite horse. Aww, Snickers. That just makes it better. As for Hallowe’en, Skittles reins as the favorite.
I know this has you wondering what then, is America’s most hated candy? It is – wait for it – candy corn. I know, I was as surprised as you are. However, despite its status as the least favorite, a whopping 35 million pounds – that’s nine billion pieces – of candy corn are produced each year. And in case you are interested, an NCA survey reports that 29% of candy corn eaters bite off the white end first, 7% start with the yellow end, and 65% eat the whole piece at once. (I unfortunately could not find comparable data on the methods of Snickers bar consumption.)
But whatever Hallowe’en treats you select, please be generous with the kids if you can. They’ve had a tough year. As for me, I’m on my way to go pick up another bag of Snickers because something seems to have happened to the one I bought from the witch display back in August. Don’t judge me – it was all about experiencing everyday moments of joy.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Hallowe’en!