How the ‘war on sugar’ is changing the Halloween haul

The Halloween season bring in billions for the candy industry, but that number may be decreasing as conscious consumers turn to other alternatives.

Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph/AP
Jonathan Campos brings his daughter Adalie Campos dressed as a bee to collect candy at Trunk or Treat at the Crown Health Services parking lot in Tyler, Texas on Thursday.

A new wave of health-conscious consumers are tweaking the way they celebrate the Halloween holiday.

The nutrition-conscious are trying to find healthier ways to indulge their sweet tooth this Halloween, as fears over sugar are causing greater concern. Many are seeking a way to eat healthier, without disappointing children.

Chocolates will still dominate the candy haul most children bring back this year, but the quantity and size may look different. According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), one in five Americans say they are more likely to buy chocolates or candies in a smaller portion size. Nearly one in four say they are buying healthier candy like dark chocolate or chocolates with nuts and fruits than five years ago.

The National Retail Federation says Americans will spend $2.1 billion on Halloween candy, but manufacturers may also start seeing the “war on sugar” scare away percentages of profit.

The World Health Organization has linked excess sugar intake to diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

To provide a healthier alternative, some manufacturers – like Unreal, Xlear Inc, and Kayco – have started developing low-sugar candy made from items consumers may be used to finding in salads. Puffed quinoa and cabbage are becoming key ingredients in the new low-sugar candy and could win over sugar-wary buyers.

Kevin Schiffman, who describes himself as a “health freak,” opted to spend much more on candy this year to buy new, low-sugar chocolate from Unreal priced at $20 a can. The alternative chocolate treats contain 5 grams of sugar, compared to over 20 grams of sugar found in many traditional chocolate bars.

Mr. Schiffman told Reuters that in previous years he gave out high-sugar treats like Kit Kats and Reese’s out of fear of being ostracized as a Halloween grinch and disappointing young tricker-treaters.

“There wasn’t really much out there that you could choose from unless you’re giving out fruit,” Schiffman told Reuters.

While the health trend is becoming increasingly widespread and companies are offer more options for health candies, some are still okay with eating candy on holidays.

"I can be a pig four times a year," Tom Cardamone told Reuters. 

NCA data shows that 75 percent of people still agree that it is still okay to enjoy chocolate and candy seasonally. 

This report includes material from Reuters.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to How the ‘war on sugar’ is changing the Halloween haul
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today