Some “Scary” Effects of Halloween Marketing

Fall is here and you know what that means- crisp autumn leaves, the weather’s cooling off, and of course Halloween is almost here!  As we look back on our previous years of trick-or-treating, we remember our costumes and of course which houses had the best candy. But when did this tradition evolve from simplistic and childish fun into a marketing frenzy? In 2010, $2 billion was spent in Halloween candy sales, and each American household spent around $22 dollars on candy.  And this amount is only predicted to grow with this coming year. With America’s huge obesity problems, doesn’t this seem to be a lot of money to be spending on candy? Marketers for the big candy companies couldn’t disagree more.

Since there is a lapse between back-to-school shopping and Halloween, there is a rush to fill this space with something. Instead of maybe taking a little break, we are asked to engage in a month and a half long Halloween shopping extravaganza.  Mars, Inc, hosting candy bars such as Snickers, are taking full advantage of the Halloween season, with a Halloween-themed commercial featuring an entire 5 rows of Snickers candy bars. Sure this is great for the economy, but is it great for our health? The average American consumes about 24 lbs of candy per year, most of it in the immediate period of time following Halloween. Although there’s nothing wrong with having a little candy on Halloween, it might be helpful to step back and look at our consumption.

-Lauren Phelps, Jessica Kingman, & Alaethea Hensley