Despite the fact it seems like an organic, local, non-processed tidal wave has slowly been engulfing our nation, Americans are more in love with sweet, sticky, gooey, chocolatey candy than ever, and there's mathematical proof to back it up. According to the National Confectioner's Association, the average American will spend $7.36 on Halloween candy this year, putting the grand total of cash burned on candy corn and mini-Snickers at an unsettling $2.3 billion. That's a new record.
I've gotta say, I'm downright shocked by this number. Aren't we in the Michelle Obama age of finding non-teeth rotting alternatives to give to little trick or treaters? Hell, McDonald's is even giving out apples this year. Why so addicted to modified corn starch and Yellow #5, America?
And, while we're at it, aren't we in the middle of an economic s**t storm? Even if not for health reasons, I would have bet that Americans would be spending less money on Halloween candy this year, because, well, they don't have as much money as they used to. Then again, maybe that's part of the reason we're going balls to the wall -- it's all we got.
I did not grow up during a time when our fine nation was trying to cut down on the amount of chemical-y things we ingest. In fact, when I was trick-or-treating, it was the opposite. My rag tag band of misfits and I would grab our pillowcases, walk door to door until our legs couldn't carry us any longer, and come home and gorge ourselves on Tootsie Rolls, Reese's, and Smarties for the next three days. It was awesome. And we're all fine!
But, that doesn't make it right. When my kid is old enough to go trick or treating, I'm not quite sure what I'll do to prevent him or her from entering a multi-day candy coma like I did when I was younger. It's still a little premature, but right now I'm leaning towards the "Switch Witch," you know, that mythical creature that comes in in the middle of the night and replaces all of your child's candy with a toy. Or, hey, maybe things will be different in a couple years when my kid's big enough to go out on Halloween. Maybe everyone will be giving out apples like McDonald's or temporary tattoos like one of my editors.
Though probably not. After all, we did hit a record this year.
What do you give out on Halloween?
Image via jamalfanaian/Flickr