Historians are unsure precisely where and when the phrase “trick or treat” was coined, but one thing is for sure, it started in the U.S. and by 1951 it was firmly established in American popular culture. This was the year trick-or-treating was depicted in the Peanuts comic strip. A year later, Walt Disney produced a cartoon featuring Donald Duck taking his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie on the door-to-door adventure.
Well, it’s that time of year again when ghosts and goblins ring their neighbors’ doorbells and pose the famous question. Treats are typically provided, and more often than not, it’s some form of chocolate.
According to data from Mars Inc., McLean, Va., the second-largest U.S. marketer of Halloween-themed chocolate candy, the Halloween chocolate category exceeded $1 billion in sales for the first time in 2013, an increase of 6.4 percent from the previous year. For Mars, its Snickers brand is the most-purchased brand for handing out on Oct. 31.
Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa., the undisputed leader in Halloween, has the highest household penetration during the Halloween season, according to spokesperson Brandy Woolford. The company has three of the top five brands during this ghoulish time. Hershey’s Chocolate Assortments is No. 1, Reese’s is second and Kit Kat is fifth.
New chocolate items this year include Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin singles and Kit Kat Minis snack size. Non-chocolate new items include Jolly Rancher Crunch ‘N Chew Caramel Apple Candy, Hershey’s Candy Corn snack size bars and Twizzlers Caramel Apple Filled Twists.
Spooky Milk Provides Fun, Flavor and Nutrition
Peanut Butter Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk and Spooktacular Egg Nog are the latest creations from Prairie Farms. The company started a seasonal flavored milk program last winter with great success by offering consumers limited-edition flavors. Both ultra-pasteurized products are made with milk from cows not treated with any artificial growth hormones and come in quart-size gable-top cartons with recloseable spout. The suggested retail price is $2.39 to $2.49.
For the Over-21 Trick or Treater
Beam Suntory Inc. debuts its latest flavor innovation, Pinnacle CranApple Vodka, just in time for autumn festivities. This imported premium vodka delivers a blend of tart cranberries and sweet green apples. Last year at this time, the company introduced Caramel Apple, Peachberry Cobbler, Pecan Pie, Peppermint Bark and Salted Caramel varieties. These 70-proof, five-time distilled vodkas can be enjoyed chilled, on the rocks or in mixed cocktails. The suggested retail price is $12.99 for a 750ml bottle.
Twix Plays a Trick
According to Mars Inc., Halloween-shaped chocolates are a growing category. In response, the company is rolling out Twix Ghost Singles, which joins returning favorites such as M&M’S White Chocolate Candy Corn and Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis. The 1.06-oz. ghosts retail for 79-89 cents. To excite consumers and drive spook-tacular sales for retailers, Mars is investing in a massive Halloween media campaign, which includes TV, couponing, print and digital advertising, and eye-catching Halloween-themed displays.