NEW YORK — Kit Kat tops the list of candy brands purchased at Halloween, trailed closely by Snickers and Reese’s, according to research from AOL.
In an on-line survey of 1,023 consumers, two-thirds said they buy treats during the season, but selection and shopping patterns vary across demographics.
“Kit Kat and Snickers were neck and neck for the top two, but among 18- to 24-year-olds Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Pieces were more popular,” noted Maureen Dawson, senior manager of consumer analytics and research at AOL. “That younger demographic also said they were more likely to buy the non-chocolate brands, such as Starbursts, Skittles and SweeTarts.”
Candy buyers skew older, with 76% of the 55-plus group reporting they celebrate Halloween by purchasing treats for the holiday, compared with 60% of 18- to 24-year-olds. Consumers aged 45 and older are 24% more likely to hand out candy on Halloween, while 9% of millennials hoard it.
“Younger people tend to celebrate in a lot of different ways, such as hosting or attending parties and going to bars or haunted houses, whereas older age groups, especially parents, are more likely to be buying costumes for kids and handing out candy,” Ms. Dawson said. “Especially the 45- or 55-plus demographic; the way they are celebrating is purchasing and handing out candy.”
Older consumers also are more likely to toss non-candy items in trick-or-treat bags, such as pretzels or apples, Ms. Dawson said.
More than half of respondents wait until the week or day of Oct. 31 to shop for sweets, while 38% purchase candy a few weeks before, and 7% buy at least a month in advance. Consumers are more likely to purchase Halloween confections at drug stores, warehouse clubs and big-box retailers, but a significant number of respondents reported buying candy at dollar or discount stores.“That stood out compared to other seasonal shopping behaviors we had looked at, like Thanksgiving and back-to-school,” Ms. Dawson said. “It’s a value buy.”