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Creepy Economics: Making Money and Memories on Halloween

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on October 29, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Holidays are often an opportunity for stores to make a little more. Retailers rely on Christmas, of course. But who is really making bank on Halloween?

Candy makers, costume shops, pumpkin farmers, and haunted house owners all have reason to rejoice at the end of every October. While kids are consuming all those trick-or-treat sweets on November 1, there will be a few grownups counting their loot too.

Hershey's and Mars' Holiday

A survey of social media discussions of America's favorite Halloween candies last year showed that the Pennsylvania chocolate maker has won the nation's heart, Thrillist reports. Hershey had three properties in top spots -- Twizzlers, KitKats, and Reese's.

Snickers, which is a Mars property, and Hershey's Reese's are apparently in a battle for number one. American chocolate sales are dominated by the two sweets giants, Hershey's and Mars.

Halloween is the chocolate industry's biggest holiday, and chocolate is the candy of choice for trick-or-treaters. Chocolate sales accounted for more than 70 percent of total Halloween candy sales in 2013, according to the National Confectioners Association.

Pumpkin Patches and Haunted Houses

Unlike candy, which is pretty popular all year long, pumpkins enjoy limited popularity. Autumn is pretty much it for the orange squash. Halloween and Thanksgiving are big for pumpkin farmers and some have thought of ways to make the most of the time.

In Sanger, California, for example, owners of the Hill Crest pumpkin patch offer train and hay rides and pumpkin competitions. Melissa Bautista, the owner, admitted to local abc30 news that this is not a big money maker. "If I had a penny for every photograph that was of a baby we'd be doing really really well."

Nearby in Hobbs Grove, Californians in search of fear pay to get spooked. Haunted houses also only enjoy limited popularity. But do not underestimate people's devotion to this unique type of business.

A Michigan couple in love with Halloween and each other got married in a haunted house this week, the Detroit Free Press reported. They had a Day-of-the-Dead themed ceremony to start their new lives. How much they paid for the ceremony was not reported.

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