The History of Halloween Candy

Have you ever wondered why we give out candy on Halloween? Read more below to find out!

Every year around this time, retailers dedicate entire aisles and display areas specifically to Halloween candy. It’s likely that everywhere you go you will have to resist the temptation of indulging in these tasty treats. It is estimated that Americans spend approximately $2 billion annually on candy during the Halloween season. Halloween wouldn’t be what it is without Halloween candy, however that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the Halloween candy we know today wasn’t even a thing until the 1950’s and it wasn’t until the 1970’s that it became what it now is.

The custom of trick-or-treating for candy came about in the 1930’s and early 1940’s after being brought to America by Irish immigrants. People would make homemade cookies, cakes, fruit, nuts, coins, and toys to give to children for Halloween. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that candy manufacturers caught on and started to promote their candies as the ideal Halloween treat. With trick-or-treating becoming more and more popular, the holiday was the perfect occasion for the candy companies to market their products as the perfect fun treat for the kids on Halloween.

By the 1970’s, Americans grew cautious of homemade candies and treats in fear of tampering or poisoning. Wrapped candy from the candy manufacturers was a simple and safe option. It was easy to buy and easy to distribute. At this time, the manufacturers started to make smaller sizes in their popular candies which made it less expensive and easier to hand out to trick-or-treaters. From the 1970’s until now, small wrapped candy still dominates the grocery store shelves for months leading up to Halloween and year-round!

What’s your favorite Halloween candy? Hershey’s kisses? Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? Let us know in the comments below!