As we approach the end of the Halloween season – our industry’s “Super Bowl” – I’ve noticed an encouraging trend in the way state and local governments, health departments, the media and consumers are viewing Halloween celebrations.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen organizations like the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health walk back bans on trick-or-treating and offer more reasonable guidance that promotes and encourages safe and creative Halloween celebrations. Others, like the City of Chicago, have taken a more proactive approach, partnering with stakeholders to share plans and resources to ensure local communities have a safe and fun Halloween.
This is the inspired conversation we should have been having all along, because canceling Halloween is the type of public health directive that makes people skeptical about public health directives. After all, 74% of young parents say that Halloween 2020 is more important than ever. Moreover, 80% of the general public and 90% of millennial moms say they can’t imagine Halloween without chocolate and candy and that trick-or-treating is irreplaceable.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that there has never been a question about the resilient nature of Americans when they are faced with the challenges that come along with the COVID-19 pandemic, as they are embracing creativity and prioritizing safety to inject a bit of fun into the fall. So let’s meet American families where they want to be met, provide them with inspiration for a safe Halloween and give them the enjoyment they crave in this weird and uncertain year.
And as Halloween night grows closer, the demand for information about Halloween is only increasing. The number of people who believe they will find creative and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year has jumped 17% over the past few months to a whopping 80% of Americans. Tens of thousands of people have visited Halloween Central, our Halloween resource digital hub, and many more have located important safety information thanks to local authorities and health departments that have been motivated by our work with thought leaders in this space.
Beyond attitudes and behaviors, there is another key indicator that consumers are focusing more and more on “how” to celebrate the season. Halloween chocolate and candy sales are up more than 8% over last year, which speaks to retailer, manufacturer and consumer confidence and optimism that Halloween is happening – even if we celebrate a little differently this year.
Halloween 2020 will be a holiday at the end of a calendar year that we will not soon forget. Let’s take these next 10 days and make it something truly special for our families, close friends and communities.