Chicago, October 29, 2021 — Snacking on sweet treats is a year-round pastime for U.S. consumers, but sweet treat snacking picks up markedly between Halloween and Valentine’s Day, reports The NPD Group. From the mini chocolate bars that find their way into trick or treat bags, winter holiday cookies paired with ice cream, to heart-shaped valentine candies, “tis” the season to eat sweet treats. 

Candy is at the core of seasonal sweet treats, but cookies and ice cream are also in the mix. According to NPD’s recently released Eating Patterns in America, chocolate candy/candy bars, cookies, and ice cream are among the top sweet snacks consumed year-round. These same treats are high on the list for consumers to include in their seasonal traditions. For example, chocolate is one of the most popular candy varieties consumers snack on, particularly during Halloween. Chocolate candy represents one-third of candy eatings; however, it represents over half of candy eaten during Halloween. Cookies and ice cream are among the popular sweet treats consumed during the winter holidays, and chocolate candy is once again the top treat consumed around Valentine’s Day. Chocolate is a big winner on Valentine’s Day, especially among adults, where chocolate accounts for two-thirds of all candy eaten. Gift boxes help drive this behavior. Nearly one-quarter of chocolate candy on Valentine’s Day gets consumed from a box of specialty/gift chocolates, finds NPD’s continual tracking of snack and convenience food consumption.

“Many consumers consider sweet treats a part of their holiday traditions,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “A holiday wouldn’t be the same if a specific sweet treat, like candy, weren’t included. Brands that have become a must-have seasonal treat benefit year-after-year.”

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