Halloween Marketing: Candy and Trick-Or-Treating.
We at Truss are big Halloween marketing people. Please see these two photos as evidence.
We wanted to help you get in the season by doing a deep dive into the history of trick-or-treating. Alright, on the surface that sounds boring, but we promise that it will be entertaining. And educational. Good Halloween marketing absolutely played a role in making trick-or-treating what it is today.
Rewind back to the year 1910. Candy makers were looking for ways to grow their fall sales. Back in the day, Halloween parties mostly consisted of seasonal fruits, which, if you ask the majority of our team, is a much lesser treat compared to candy. For reference, holiday marketing certainly existed back in 1910. Christmas and Easter were huge candy events for jelly eggs and molded bunnies. Even George Washington’s birthday got people buying candy in the form of special marzipan cherries and cocoa-dusted logs. Halloween on the other hand? Nothing.
Fast forward a few decades to the 1950s, when the marriage between Halloween and candy really began. Between 1948 and 1952, all of a sudden kids started ringing stranger’s doorbells in search of tribute on Halloween night. Except during that time, candy was not the standard like it is today. Kids ringing doorbells could expect anything from coins, nuts, fruits, and cookies, to toys and cakes. Even Kellogg’s and Kool-Aid were promoting their decidedly non-candy products as trick-or-treat options.
Understandably so, some of the products that were being handed out as trick-or-treat goods weren’t received as well as others. As fun as a shiny, new penny is. The high demand for better Halloween treats caused retailers to market something specifically for kids that was both fun and affordable. It didn’t take long before candy became the answer, and the big push from candy retailers was met with equally enthusiastic demand. As trick-or-treating grew, candy became increasingly more popular as the Halloween treat of choice.
Retail candy perfectly fit the bill for Halloween. It turned out that a lot of parents were understandably concerned about the random, home-made treats that were being handed out to kids back in the day. If it wasn’t in a wrapper, who knows what could have been in that cookie, or brownie. Thus, wrapped, store-branded candy became the standard for safe, and delicious trick-or-treating.
The Halloween marketing tradition is all about recognizing opportunities, and taking advantage of them. Candy retailers saw a golden opportunity, and now candy on Halloween is as American as fireworks on the 4th of July. Being in the confectionary business ourselves, we’ve loved designing Fall packaging and positioning ourselves for the Halloween season. Each Halloween marketing season brings new marketing opportunities that catch the spirit of the holiday, and we love being a part of it.