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Halloween Fun: The Online Buzz on Treats, Kids' Favorites

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Candy corn is one of most enduring symbols of Halloween—and the subject of more social media buzz than any other type of Halloween candy—according to the NetBase Brand Passion Index, which measures the intensity of consumer passion for brands among users of online communities.

However, although the 130-year-old candy dominates Halloween "treat"-related conversations online, not all the buzz is positive.

The October Brand Passion Index* measured Halloween treat-related consumer insights around popular candies: Candy corn, M&Ms, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Skittles, Sweet Tarts, and Tootsie Rolls.

Conversations about candy corn accounted for the plurality (35%) of total Halloween treat-related conversations online, and 78% of those conversations were positive.

What did consumers love more than candy corn? Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Although Reese's generated less social buzz, accounting for some 19% of treat-related conversations online, 91% of those found were positive.


In the graphic above, the amount of sentiment and chatter about a brand is indicated by the size of the bubble, whereas the placement of the bubble shows the intensity of passion.

Interestingly, in a similar analysis conducted in 2011, candy corn generated less than 1% of online buzz. The big increase in 2012 (34 percentage points) is likely due to the launch of new candy-corn flavored products this year by the Oreo, Jelly Belly, and M&Ms brands.

Favorite Holiday

Some 94% of US kids age 5-13 go trick-or-treating and among them, nearly two in three (65%) say Halloween is the best holiday of the year, according to separate research by PopGames and The American Dental Association (ADA).

Below, additional findings from PopGames and The ADA.

Health-Conscious Kids

Candy is a big part of Halloween. However, if Halloween was instead about other types of fun, say, toys, video games, and parties, 89% of kids say they'd still like the holiday.

Moreover, 78% of kids agree that too much candy is bad for them, and 67% admit they eat too much candy around Halloween.

Even so, trick-or-treating (76%), dressing up in a costume (72%), and getting lots of candy (67%) are the three most popular Halloween activities among kids surveyed.

Younger kids tend to favor trick-or-treating and getting lots of candy, whereas older kids place slightly more value on attending parties and decorating the house.

*Using measures across a spectrum of emotions—love, like, dislike, and hate—the Netbase Brand Passion Index reads and understands what people are saying online, then surfaces and aggregates those likes and dislikes, as well as the emotions and behaviors associated with brands. 

About the data: To generate the October 2012 NetBase Brand Passion Index, ConsumerBase analyzed Halloween treat-related conversations around popular candy brands across the Web from Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012. Findings issued by PopGames and The ADA are based on a survey of 755 US households with children age 5-13, August 16-20, 2012.


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