A state-by-state study of popular Halloween candy said Californians love Lifesavers.
Displaying a real sweet tooth, other states selected candy bars like Milky Ways and Snickers. But there also was a soft chew fruity group that liked Airheads and Laffy Taffy. My own state, New Jersey, picked Sour Patch Kids as did North Dakota.
Meanwhile, the most popular candy was either Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or Candy Corn. We can’t be sure because Reese’s got the most votes while Candy Corn was a top pick by the most states (Wyoming, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Oregon).
Saying they surveyed over 40,000 “influensters,” a shopping community website created this candy map:
Our Bottom Line: An Economist’s Top Ten List for Halloween
In addition to candy and costumes, Halloween shows us that economic ideas are everywhere. With more facts than you could ever want to know about Halloween, the National Retail Federation had the data I needed for my economic idea top ten list:
- 10. Resource Allocation: average Halloween budget is $82.93 with 67% spent on candy and costumes.
- 9. GDP: coming from 171 million Americans, projected total spending is $8.4 billion.
- 8. Competition: candy corn and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup are the most popular Halloween candies.
- 7. Globalization: not really; except for Nestlé and the Italian makers of Airhead, almost all of the candy is from Mars and Hershey in the U.S.
- 6. Demand: it is most likely that people will dress a pet as a pumpkin, a hot dog or a bumble bee.
- 5. Supply: sellers have added Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump costumes to their inventory. Behind witches and pirates, political costumes are the #3 preference in the adult list.
- 4. Innovation: ideas for costumes increasingly are coming from Pinterest (#6), Facebook (#5), YouTube (#9), Instagram (#10) and Twitter (#13)
- 3. Utility: people get the most pleasure from the holiday by handing out candy (#1), decorating a home yard (#2), dressing in a costume (#3), carving a pumpkin (#4).
- 2. Tradeoffs: as the most popular kids costume, superheroes replaced princesses which had been #1 for 11 years.
- 1. Diminishing Marginal Utility: after all of that candy, we are happy to wait a year until the next Halloween.
My sources and more: Except for globalization, my entire Top Ten list came from the National Retail Federation website. It was even more fun though to see each state’s candy preference at Influenster and then to ponder if there could be a broader significance.