Halloween is serious business. For retailers, for candy brands, and, perhaps most of all, for millions of kids.
So here’s a good question: What one Halloween treat and/or candy brand are trick-or-treaters hoping to bag when they make their rounds in 2019?
In a recent survey, Field Agent gave 1,019 kids* ages 1-17 the chance to answer this question and others. We required photo verification of all children participating in the survey (so we knew we were surveying kids), and each child took the survey with the permission and assistance of a parent.
*All respondents were U.S. kids between the ages of 1-17 and, with the permission and assistance of a parent, able to answer the questions. The survey was conducted entirely through the Field Agent app and photo verification was required. Boy respondents (n = 565): 1-3 years old (7%), 4-7 (19%), 8-11 (18%), 12-15 (9%), >15 (2%); Girl respondents (n = 454): 1-3 years old (6%), 4-7 (15%), 8-11 (14%), 12-15 (7%), >15 (2%).
So which Halloween treats received the kid seal of approval? Which candy brands are the official choice of trick-or-treaters everywhere?
Read on for 5 sweet insights into the Halloween treat and candy preferences of children across the country. Oh, and also see where their parents will be purchasing Halloween candy this year.
Top Treats Among Trick-or-Treaters
1. Trick-or-treaters favor chocolate over any other treat
Field Agent assembled a selection of 11 common treats, from gum to chips, small toys to beverages. We then asked all 1,019 trick-or-treaters, “Which ONE treat below would you most like to receive when trick-or-treating at Halloween this year?”
At 45%, chocolate candy dominated, followed by small toys/games/novelties (13%), soft/chewy candy (12%), gum (6%), gift certificates (e.g., for a free ice cream; 6%), and non-mint, hard candies (e.g., Jolly Rancher; 4%).
Kids, it seems, have a real hankering for chocolate come Halloween.
Who can blame them?
2. Hershey’s has a powerful 1-2-3 punch at Halloween
We asked kids to name the candy brand—any candy brand—they’d most like to receive when trick-or-treating this Halloween. It was posed as a free-form question early in the survey, and no choice options were provided.
We then aggregated the data to identify the top 10 kid-approved candy treats of Halloween.
As you can see, trick-or-treaters have Hershey brands on their minds, with Hershey’s chocolate bars (15%), Reese’s peanut butter cups (13%), and Kit-Kat bars (8%) taking spots 1-3, respectively.
“It’s the bestest in the whole wide world,” said one child about Hershey’s chocolate bars. Some like that the bars “melt in your mouth,” while others like that they can still eat them even with braces.
Did You Know? Parents say they’re more likely to fill their children’s Christmas stockings with M&M’s than any other candy brand. Download Field Agent’s free holiday report to get the 411 on holiday sweets.
3. But the chocolate competition gets tighter when we limit the choices
We then let kids vote in—let’s call it—a run-off election.
Field Agent took eight of the top-performing chocolate brands from the write-in election (above) and asked, “Of the [eight chocolate brands] below, which one would you most like to receive while trick-or-treating this Halloween?”
Reese’s peanut butter cups (23%) took first place, followed by Kit-Kat (19%), M&M’s (19%), Hershey’s chocolate bars (14%), Snickers (11%), 3 Musketeers (5%), Butterfinger (4%), and Crunch bars (3%).
As one child said about Reese’s peanut butter cups, “[They] taste good and make me happy.” What more could you ask for?
4. Sour Patch Kids & Skittles top the list of non-chocolate candy treats
We did basically the same thing for non-chocolate candies. Field Agent compiled a list of eight popular candy brands and asked all 1,019 trick-or-treaters to identify the one they’d most like this Halloween.
Pucker up. At 24%, Sour Patch Kids edged out Skittles (23%) to take the top honor.
As one child said about Sour Patch Kids, “I like that it’s sour then sweet.”
These two crowd-pleasers were followed by Starburst (16%), Nerds (10%), Jolly Ranchers (8%), Twizzlers (8%), Life Savers (4%), and SweeTarts (3%).
5. Expect Walmart and Target to lead the way for purchases of Halloween candy
Following the kid’s portion of the survey, we asked parents, “Will you purchase candy this year to pass out to trick-or-treaters or to take to a Halloween event?”
Almost 8-in-10 (78%) answered “yes.”
To those who responded “yes” (n = 796), Field Agent posed the follow-up question, “From which retailer(s) are you most likely to purchase candy for Halloween this year?”
At 67%, Walmart spooked the competition, followed by Target (29%), Sam’s Club (15%), Kroger (15%), Dollar General (15%), Dollar Tree (15%), Costco (13%), and Walgreens (12%). No other retailer received more than 8%.
Amazon.com received only 4%.
Of course, Halloween isn’t the only occasion known for sweet treats.
What about the holidays?
Download Field Agent’s free 2019 holiday preview (see below) to learn about the Christmas food, beverage, and, yes, “sweets” scene.
Free Download: 2019 Holiday Preview
Based on surveys with over 4,000 holiday shoppers, Field Agent’s 2019 holiday preview, “An Omnichannel Christmas,” explores a wide range of questions, including:
- What foods, drinks, and sweets will celebrants purchase to enhance their holiday?
- Which retailers will be most popular this year for toys, electronics, clothing, and holiday groceries?
- What role will brick-and-mortar, online, and omnichannel shopping play in gift purchases?
- What gifts will be most popular this holiday season, among boys, girls, men, and women?
Covering almost 50 pages, it’s our biggest and best holiday report yet.
Download it today. For free!!
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