According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, total holiday spending in the US is projected to reach $6.86 billion, the largest amount in the survey’s nine year history. Weak economy notwithstanding, NRF projects Americans will spend $72.31 on costumes, candy, and decorations, up from last year’s $66.28 and 2009’s $56.31.
NetBase, the Social Media Insight & Analysis company, released the latest Brand Passion Index on the emotions, opinions and behaviors (a.k.a. "confectionery conversations") in the social media landscape on six candy brands: M&Ms, Skittles, Candy Corn, Reese's, Tootsie Rolls and SweeTarts. Overall, this Halloween is all about bite-size.
Three key metrics, share of buzz, net sentiment and passion intensity, were tracked by Insight Workbench. M&Ms emerged in leaderboard position with 42% of overall chatter, attributable to its colors, variety and nostalgia. Skittles was second, with 24%, but won Passion Intensity with a score of 89 compared to M&Ms' 80.
Reese’s garnered 21% of the total buzz, Tootsie Rolls 11%, while SweeTarts and candy corn came in under 1%.
Passion intensity scores were 73 for SweeTarts, 65 for Tootsie Rolls, 48 for candy corn and 45 for Reese’s.
Net sentiment scores were 87 for SweeTarts, 77 for Reese’s, 58 for Tootsie Roll and 52 for candy corn
Candy Corn, the most iconic Halloween candy had the weakest metrics across all categories: lowest share of buzz, a Net Sentiment score of 52 and a Passion Intensity score of 48. Most people eat it solely at Halloween for tradition’s sake rather than gustatory relish.
Skittles won high passion and positivity for delicious taste with children and adults, and a feeling of happiness from eating the fruity treat.
According to the NPD Group which researches eating trends, about 5% of all candy consumed annually is eaten between Halloween and the week after with the most popular choices being chocolate, chewy candies and hard candy.
“It really came down to a battle of the bite-sized candy bits: the good ole reliable, melts-in-your-mouth-not-in-your-hand chocolaty M&Ms vs. the chewy, fruit-impersonating Skittles that let you “taste the rainbow.”
In this graphic, chatter is represented by the size of the bubble, and placement of the bubble shows sentiment and passion intensity.
“Halloween was once an inexpensive holiday. Families made treats like candy apples, constructed costumes out of old bed sheets, and made their own spooky decorations. As stores stockpile all of the typical Halloween fare, find the time to sit down with your family and plan a budget for this trick or treat season,” says Howard Dvorkin, CPA and founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc.
Whatever happened to bobbing for apples?