Halloween cancelled? 52% won’t give trick-or-treaters candy this year — many blame inflation

NEW YORK — As kids get ready for another Halloween night of costumes, candy, and fun memories, many adults say they simply don’t have the money to celebrate this year. In a poll of 1,056 Americans, a staggering 52 percent say they won’t be handing out Halloween candy to young trick-or-treaters.

Out of these Americans, one in four blame inflation for spoiling this year’s festivities (24%). That shouldn’t come as much of a Halloween shocker, since inflation rose to a 40-year high earlier in 2022.

Previous studies have found that three in four Americans feel inflation interfered with their 2022 financial goals. Six in 10 small businesses also fear that the ongoing cost of living crisis will ruin them.

Another 23 percent said they didn’t celebrate Halloween, leading them to not hand out candy. Meanwhile, just 12 percent say health and safety concerns related to the pandemic are still keeping them from avoiding trick-or-treaters this year. For those still planning to hand out candy this year (48%), the average American buys two bags of candy and spends around $23 on the treats. Despite buying candy to give to costumed kids, one in three admit they eat a lot of it themselves.

Nerds: America’s favorite candy?

Interestingly, chocolate is NOT the most popular treat people look for each Halloween. It turns out more Americans search for Nerds! The candy is the most searched-for treat in seven states, including in California, Missouri, and New Hampshire.

When it comes to taste, however, it’s safe to say nothing tops a chocolatey treat. According to the poll, the top five candies Americans love to snack on are Reese’s, Kit Kat bars, M&M’s, Twix, and the Butterfinger candy bar.

If you’re looking to scare away all your guests this Halloween, put out a bowl of candy corn! The controversial treat takes the top spot as America’s most hated Halloween candy. One in three people say they absolutely hate candy corn, while 22 percent love it. As for other unpopular candies, Hot Tamales, Dots, caramel apple suckers, Mike and Ike round out the top five.

Your favorite candy may depend on where you live

The survey, conducted by Byte.com in August, also found that people’s tastebuds tend to differ depending on where they live. Although candy corn is the most unpopular candy overall, it’s still the most popular treat in six states, including Oregon, Idaho, and Utah.

It’s the same story in the Upper Midwest, where caramel apple suckers are the go-to candy in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In the South, residents in Alabama and Louisiana love their Hot Tamales.

As for which candies will send you to the dentist after Halloween, the researchers at Byte say caramels, taffy, hard candies like Jolly Ranchers, coated candies like Hot Tamales, and toffee are the worst things for your teeth.

If you’re looking to avoid a cavity, the team suggests sticking with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and sugar-free gum.

candy nation


In August 2022, Byte.com surveyed 1,056 Americans about candy and their teeth. Survey respondents ranged in age from 18 to 84 with an average age of 36. 48% were male, 48% female, 3% nonbinary, and 1% transgender.

For this report, they also analyzed Google search volume of 529 terms related to candy such as “Milky Way,” “Jolly Ranchers,” and “Reese’s” over the period of July 2020 to July 2022. They then analyzed the most disproportionately popular Google search terms. They compared each state’s search results to the national average in order to determine which search term has a higher search volume when compared to the national average.

To figure out the most and least candy corn-obsessed cities, They analyzed Google search volume of 66 terms related to candy corn such as “Candy Corn M&M’s”, “Flavored Candy Corn,” and “Halloween Candy Corn” over the period of July 2020 to July 2020. Total search volume during this period was then calculated per capita and visualized per 100,000. To come up with our list, they analyzed the top 30 most populous cities in the U.S.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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    1. Rufus, if you were informed, you’d know this is worldwide inflation and has very very little to do with Biden.

  1. We haven’t had hardly any trick or treaters come by for years, even with a carved pumpkin burning. It’s going the way of the dodo bird anyway…

  2. I just wrapped up trick or treat and became a curmudgeon pretty quickly. I gave out snack bags of pretzels, popcorn, chips, Oreos, Rice Krispie Treats, and Goldfish. I went through nearly 300 items and I promise you, we don’t have 300 kids in the neighborhood. Kids being brought in, grabbing for things, rather than being polite, and few thank-yous.

    Next year, they get Circus Peanuts!

  3. Seriously you cannot afford a few bags of candy? The economy didn’t make dollar tree bags of candy go past $1.25, or the many stores that had BOGO! Just because everything else has gone up, and I’m sure many of you are still buying $4 coffee’s, eating lunch out…don’t be cheap asses and ruin one of the only things kids have to look forward to!!!

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