Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Get Your Scare On

Halloween is so close! It's time to rent your scary movies, finalize your costume, and decide which candy you’ll be handing out to trick-or-treaters.

This year, 70 percent of Americans are expected to partake in Halloween activities, spending $53 on average for candy, decorations, and costumes. Halloween is the biggest non-gift giving holiday in the United States, with analysts forecasting overall product spending at $6.86 billion this season.

With 5 percent of all candy consumed for the year on Halloween and the week after, it's safe to say that a majority of that money will be spent on sweet treats. Again this year, retailers have stocked shelves with M&M's Candy Corn White Chocolate Candy, while new products are also creeping up. Just Born's Peeps line welcomed new seasonal items, including chocolate dipped orange marshmallow chicks and chocolate mousse-flavored marshmallow cats, in addition to offering standard marshmallow pumpkins and ghosts.

But which candy brands are the most popular and provide the most buzz? Recently, NetBase, a provider of social media insight and analysis, released a Halloween-themed Brand Passion Index to determine the emotions, opinions, and behaviors of six candy brands when it comes to chatter on social sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Among candy makers M&M's, Skittles, candy corn, Reese's, Tootsie Rolls, and SweeTarts, M&M's emerged as a leader with 42 percent of overall buzz. Skittles garnered 24 percent of social media buzz, but earned a "passion intensity" level of 89. Rounding out the list: Reese's – 21 percent of total buzz; Tootsie Rolls – 11 percent; and both SweeTarts and candy corn – less than 1 percent. When it came to passion intensity scores, though, SweeTarts scored high with 73; 65 for Tootsie Rolls; 48 for candy corn; and 45 for Reese's.

This Halloween, enjoy your favorite candies, spend what you'd like on treats, costumes, and decorations, and share your thoughts about the sweets you love on your preferred social media sites. Happy Halloween!

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