It’s the most sugar-fueled time of the year. With the kids door-belling and everyone telling you, “there’s nothing to fear” - except maybe that one house down the street that’s handing out apples.
October 31, better known to the costumed masses as Halloween, is the highest-grossing holiday of the year for the candy industry, according to the National Confectioners Association, the leading trade group for the entire confection industry. Total spending for candy this season is expected to reach nearly $2 billion.
And when it comes to trick-or-treating, the majority of Americans are putting the emphasis on the "treat" aspect – despite a recent bandy of healthy eating initiatives.
One such initiative, led by "A Bunch of Baby Carrot Farmers," is aiming to make the brightly-colored vegetables the junk food of choice this Halloween.
The campaign, spearheaded by Bolthouse Farms, originally garnered national attention this past summer when it set its sights on the junk food industry – touting the slogan, "Eat 'Em Like Junk Food," and marketing the crunchy snacks like potato chips in similar-shaped bags and in vending machines.
Now, the campaign is letting its fangs out with the launch of Scarrots - a new, healthier kind of Halloween “treat.”
Taking on the single-serve candy industry, Scarrots are offered in 1.7-ounce bags for health-conscious homeowners to hand out instead of the usual candied confections.
"We've been blown away by the response to this campaign," said Jeff Dunn, the chief executive officer of Bolthouse Farms, in a release. "… We've learned that is there's a huge groundswell of support behind our effort to brand Baby Carrots as the ultimate junk food and we're excited to offer snackers of all kinds a new Halloween treat."
Yet, despite the increased availability and marketing efforts of such Halloween-centric snack packets of carrots, pretzels and dried fruit - sugar is still the pumpkin king.
Candy sales are on track to increase by 7 percent from 2009, with approximately three-quarters (72.2 percent) of households expected to hand out candy this All Hallows Eve, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2010 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. The NRF is the world's largest retail trade association.
The average American family will spend $20.29 on candy this season, the NRF projects.
Turns out the majority of Americans think Halloween should be enjoyed for just what it is – a day to get all jacked up on sugar. The only fruit they’ll be wanting is in gummy or pull-and-peel form.
As for vegetables? Candy corn, of course. There are 364 other days a year for Scarrots.
What is your favorite Halloween treat? And is it acceptable to give out small packs of carrots, pretzels, trail mix and other healthy likes to trick-or-treaters?