*The following op-ed originally appeared in Morning Consult on October 20, 2021.
This Halloween is going to be a blowout. Retailers are going strong on their Halloween sets with about 27 percent more seasonal items on display per store than in 2020. Consumers are planning to celebrate in a big way, including young parents – 93 percent of whom say they plan to celebrate Halloween this year. And sales of chocolate and candy are up 48 percent over 2020 and nearly 60 percent over 2019.
The Sweets & Snacks Expo started off strong with the announcement of the winners of the prestigious Most Innovative New Product Awards. These highly competitive awards recognize the most innovative candy and snack products and companies for their achievements and new products.
At last week’s Sweets & Snacks Expo, the first-ever NCA Woman of Influence Award was presented to Libby Taylor in recognition of her 27-year career at NCA and incredible impact on the confectionery industry.
In a recent survey, 85% of Americans said they believe people will find safe and creative ways to celebrate the winter holidays in 2020. If your traditional holiday plans will be different this year, there are still plenty of ways to make your seasonal celebrations a real treat for the whole family. As always, keep in mind guidance from the CDC and your local public health authorities.
“…if I had to design an activity for children that might be safe during a pandemic, I’m not sure that I could do a better job than trick-or-treating. It’s outside. It can be socially distanced. The food is individually wrapped (before anyone partakes, parents can wipe the candies down while kids wash their hands). It’s the one night a year when kids will not argue at all about wearing masks.”
The National Confectioners Association and Candy & Snack TODAY are now accepting nominations for the 2021 Confectionery Leadership Awards, which honor two top retail or wholesale buyers, category managers and executives. Recipients of this award exemplify best-in-class thought leadership, category management, effective business collaboration and commitment to the promotion of the confectionery industry.
A bipartisan group of 30 members of Congress urged Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield to provide safety guidance on community activities around Halloween during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are a few cultural moments of widespread celebration ahead of us as we look at the remainder of 2020, including Halloween. Given the central role that chocolate and candy play in the month of October, who better than NCA President & CEO John Downs to address the questions about Halloween that are top of mind for many people? We all know that this year will look a little different, but that doesn’t mean we have to sit out on the fun of the Halloween season.
As the conversation in the media and in our communities around Halloween and whether or not it is canceled continues, I want to share a simple but important thought with the industry and our retail partners as we move into the next several weeks of our annual ‘Super Bowl’ moment: Halloween is happening!
Jamie Lee Curtis, celebrated as one of the original scream queens of Hollywood since the release of the 1978 film “Halloween,” joins NCA and the candy industry in acknowledging that while the holiday will be different this year, there is no reason to cancel all the fun and celebrations associated with Halloween.
“What’s important is that children are resilient,” Curtis told The New York Times. “Putting on a costume, whether or not you’re running around on the streets or in your own home, I think the idea of putting on the costume is the fun part.”
*The following article originally appeared in NACS Magazine on August 10, 2020.
Halloween is less than three months away, and the Hershey Company predicts that this year, celebrations will be more family-oriented and the run-up to the night of trick-or-treating more important than ever, Candy Industry reports.