Halloween predicted to be down 41% this year

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Contact: Kim Ward, University Communications: (517) 432-0117, [email protected]; Trey Malone, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources: (517) 353-4518, [email protected]

Oct. 27, 2020

Halloween predicted to be down 41% this year

EAST LANSING, Mich. – New data from Michigan State University predicts that trick-or-treating could be down approximately 41% for households with children under 14 due to COVID-19.  

The report, published by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, also found:

  • Households handing out candy may decrease by half in 2020.
  • Candy sales will likely decrease as 42% of households plan to consume less candy this year.
  • 47% of households are not likely to participate in any Halloween activity.
  • Year-over-year candy sales will be dramatically down in 2020.

According to Trey Malone, report author and assistant professor of agriculture, food and resource economics at MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, COVID-19 continues to disrupt food systems.

“As we move into the holiday season, our survey suggests that COVID-19 will generate a chilling effect on the fun social activities we all traditionally enjoy during this time,” Malone said. “I would expect candy to be widely available, but fewer social events to go on as planned. One of our more surprising findings is how so many households have yet to decide exactly what they will do this year.  I’m not sure we’ve ever seen so much uncertainty in our holiday planning this close to the season.”

The data used are from the Pandemic Food Consumer and Stigma Survey fielded by Qualtrics®. Funding support was provided by the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental and Risk Management Research through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Brandon R. McFadden, Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, co-authored the report, along with Delaware high school students Eleanor R. Messer and Kabir Advani.

(Note for media: Please include a link to the original paper in online coverage: https://www.choicesmagazine.org/choices-magazine/imagery-articles/how-will-covid-19-affect-halloween)


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