By Carlee Berkenkemper
Elm Staff Writer
Oct. 31st brings to mind childhood memories of trick-or-treating for many. Hallmarks of the holiday include pillowcases and plastic jack o’ lanterns stuffed to the brim with an assortment of sweet treats and that one house that gives out full size candy bars. But even if you do not dress up and go trick-or-treating, there is still enjoyment to be had in the snack portion of this candy-centric holiday.
The National Retail Federation, founded in 1911, is the world’s largest retail trade association. For the last 11 years, they have conducted annual surveys with Prosper Insights and Analytics to break down the economics behind United States’ top holidays. This year, 7419 consumers were surveyed during the month of September to determine that about 68% of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday in some form.
The Halloween industry is expected to gross 8.8 billion this year with the top spending categories including costumes, decorations, and —you guessed it— candy. Roughly 2.6 billion dollars will be spent on Halloween candy in 2019, but what treats do people gravitate towards? Here is a list of top five treats to enjoy this month.
Hershey’s Reese’s Cups are great year-round, but are also released in different shapes around various holidays. For Halloween, your chocolate peanut combination can be bought as bats or pumpkins.
Sophomore Faith Waaramaa cites Reese’s Pumpkins as her favorite Halloween candy because of the perfect chocolate to peanut butter ratio.
“I feel like the creamy texture for the chocolate’s shape is just so great and tasty,” she said.
As Cecil House R.A., Waaramaa keeps the common room stocked with a variety of Halloween candy options. The purchasing of Reese’s Cups around Halloween is so great that they made second place on Forbes’ “The Most Popular Halloween Candy, By State” list. Furthermore, they are the Maryland state preference.
Following the chocolate theme, sophomores Evan McCarthy and Joseph Keeton chose crunchy snacks as their favorite. “I like Twix, but right Twix because I’m right handed,” Keeton said.
McCarthy appreciates Twix but cites Kit Kats as his favorite for economical reasons. “My favorite Halloween Candy is probably Kit Kats because I like the chocolate and crunch … and they are cheaper than Twix.”
Yet, fear not if chocolate is not your forte. Freshman Larson Thomas gravitates towards gummy options on Halloween. “Swedish Fish are my dad’s favorite candy, so I grew up eating them and Dots. They’re so colorful so I get how they’re appealing for kids,” Thomas said. Though Swedish Fish or Dots did not make Forbes’ list, gummy Sour Patch Kids ranked number nine.
Skittles, however, are the most popular Halloween candy of the year, according to Forbes. Not only are they colorful, they are also a perfectly sized snack. Sophomore James Hansel said, “Skittles are my favorite. The packages come in good serving size.”
Lastly, what is Halloween without candy corn? The white, orange, and yellow kernels are the jelly beans to Halloween’s Easter, a largely seasonal candy. Junior Agnes Anderson said that they are her favorite Halloween treat. “I like to separate the three different colors and eat them separately. Scientifically, I’m sure they don’t taste different, but psychologically they do. Orange is my favorite,” Anderson said.
Weighing in on the candy corn debate, Thomas said that they “taste like candlewax.” Waaramaa said, “I grew up eating candy corn because my mom was obsessed but now, I realize it is just gross sugar.”
McCarthy took a neutral stance on the iconic snack. He said, “Candy corn is a holiday favorite in small quantities. If I eat more than 12 at once I will get so sick of it.”
Whether it is chocolate, gummies, or seasonal candies that make you happy, there are sure to be a wide array of options this Halloween.