Halloween, a holiday that brings Americans together over a shared love for candy and costumes, will look very different during the pandemic.
New York (CNN Business)Halloween, a holiday that brings Americans together over a shared love for candy and costumes, will look very different during the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic is putting a damper on traditional trick-or-treating this year, a disappointment for kids and candy lovers alike.
For candy companies like Hershey’s, Halloween is the biggest season for sales, and the pandemic threw it a curveball.
To boost sales and keep customers interested, this season’s Halloween preparations include putting Halloween-specific packaging on fewer treats, focusing on family-sized packs and extending the shopping season.
Halloween celebrations are unpredictable this year, but candy companies should still be optimistic, David Steinberg, co-founder and CEO of Zeta Global, a data-driven marketing technology company, told CNN Business.
He added that consumers will continue to shop for candy for reasons that don’t include trick-or-treating: For example, candy sales increased in April, at the start of the pandemic, indicating that “people are viewing candy as comfort” while they are staying at home and social distancing.
The company is shifting its strategy during the pandemic, getting creative by offering new ways to celebrate and offering contactless Instacart delivery for Halloween costume shopping.
And costume sales are still going up, Steinberg said, even though it may be unsafe to partake in traditional trick-or-treating.
Additionally, a group of companies — including Party City, Hershey, Shoprite, Spirit Halloween and the National Retail Federation and Unicef — teamed up to create halloween2020. org, a website that maps out how to trick-or-treat safely in every county in the United States.
Spirit Halloween recommended contactless trick-or-treating (even though they don’t sell candy), socially distant costume parades, graveyard scavenger hunts and virtual ghost storytelling.
In preparation for Halloween, Lowe’s is launching drive-through, curbside trick-or-treating events leading up to the holiday, giving customers free candy and pumpkins.
“Party City has essentially written the playbook on virtual at-home and drive-by celebrations,” company CEO Brad Weston told CNN Business, adding that the company developed virtual party kits, step-by-step guides and checklists to make it easier to plan Halloween celebrations during the pandemic.