2023 Halloween Candy Trends: How CPGs Can Win This Season With Price-Conscious Consumers

Candy prices over the past year have escalated at a scary pace, which has had a chilling effect on unit sales for some popular Halloween sweets. Others not so much, per purchase insights from Catalina’s Shopper Intelligence Platform. How best to amp up sales in the weeks leading up to the holiday? Trust the data. Understand the landscape, know your shopper, and reach out effectively – offering and delivering tantalizing treats, never tricks.

Expect Slow Candy Sales Volume This Year
Candy unit volume sales – for both single serve bars and multi-packs – are slower this quarter going into Halloween than the same time a year ago likely due to price increases. Overall, average volume decreased by 8.4%, while overall price increased 16.2%.

The candy types with unit sales decreasing the most since this time last year are Licorice/Twizzlers (-15.3%) followed by Single Chocolate Bars (-12.4%), Packaged Chocolate (-9.4%), and Fruit Chew Candies (-8.2%). And the categories with the greatest unit sales decreases – Licorice/Twizzlers and Single Chocolate Bars – also saw the greatest price increases at +22.4% and 20.2% respectively.

Despite double-digit price increases, Toffee Caramel (+12.9%), Other Non-Chocolate Candies (+16%) and Gummy/Jelly Candies (+15.3%) saw only single-digit unit sales decline by -4.4%, -4%, and -3.8% respectively.

Halloween candy chart 2023Source: Catalina Shopper Intelligence Platform, 13 weeks ending 8/21/2023 versus the same period a year ago

Chocolate Buyers are Particularly Price Sensitive
By dividing our shoppers into tiers of spend and then analyzing their Price Sensitivity, we discovered that 96% of Heavy Chocolate Buyers – 15% of all chocolate buyers who account for 53% of spend – are moderately or extremely price sensitive. These folks may need an extra incentive to help them enjoy their simple treat during Halloween and beyond.

Halloween candy image 2023

Catalina can help your Halloween be more successful.
Catalina helps brands drive efficient volume, generate incremental sales, and eliminate waste and subsidy, in five steps:

  1. Target high-potential, frequent brand and category buyers based on our purchase-based insights.
  2. Deliver engaging, omni-channel messaging, including Catalina CTV (it’s not too late!).
  3. Sell at the threshold goal in a single shopping trip.
  4. Reward shoppers with cash back on their next trip.
  5. Measure shopper behavior and redemption to gain valuable insights.

Catalina can provide 1:1 purchase insights on nearly all U.S. households 2X faster than other data providers. Understanding shopping behavior in real time helps us intelligently and dynamically deliver the right message across the right media most efficiently. If you’re looking to maximize product engagement and incremental sales, contact us today.