Will Kids Trick-Or-Treat In 2020? Polls Show Majority Still Plan To Celebrate Halloween Despite COVID

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(WWJ) As summer wraps up and the weather cools, the autumn season comes to mind... and with it Halloween. 

While costume parties and trick-or-treating may unthinkable for some people due to the coronavirus, new survey data complied by AlwaysATreat.com shows Halloween is on for 2020. 

A poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the National Confectioners Association found that 63% of adults believe that people will find creative, fun and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season. Another, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of NCA, found 74% of millennial moms and young parents say that Halloween is more important than ever this year, as Americans look forward to adding some normalcy and joy to their lives.

As for whether communities will try to "cancel" trick-or-treating due to risks of spreading COVID-19, that remains to be seen.

Currently in Michigan, there are no executive orders in place that specifically prohibit going door-to-door to collect candy, or for any reason. 

“Consumers report that they will be getting creative throughout the month of October to make sure that they can stay safe and still enjoy the Halloween season,” said John Downs, president & CEO of the National Confectioners Association. “The results of our research reveal a deeply rooted enthusiasm for Halloween, even if it means that people have to rethink their approach this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Harris Poll shows an overwhelming majority of respondents say they can’t imagine Halloween without chocolate and candy, and that trick-or-treating is "irreplaceable." That includes 80% of the general public and 90% of millennial moms and young parents.

Also, in an independent survey from Insight to Action, 70% of moms said they plan to celebrate the Halloween season with their children this year. “There will be regional differences across the country in terms of how communities choose to celebrate the Halloween season, but one thing is for sure – Halloween is happening,” Downs said. “As we look to our leaders in public health across the country for safety guidance, we want to share what we know about how people are approaching the Halloween season.” The Harris Poll’s research found that 75% of Americans and 91% of millennial moms and young parents agree that chocolate and candy are integral to consumers’ emotional well-being and play a big role in celebrations, especially Halloween. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, people in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy 2-3 times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day and just one teaspoon of added sugar per day – and that includes Halloween.  The Halloween season (i.e., the eight weeks leading up to October 31) accounts for about $4.6 billion in confectionery sales each year, and a 2020 NCA market analysis shows that chocolate sales are up about 4.5% since the middle of March 2020, as compared to 2.2% growth for all of 2019. 

Downs expects that people will be buying Halloween candy this year.  “Chocolate and candy have been very resilient in this COVID-19 environment,” Downs said. “Consumers appreciate and value chocolate and candy during these uncertain times because of their uncanny ability to boost your mood and lighten your perspective.”