Company Updates

Trick-or-Treat Trends: Mapping Out Halloween’s Best Haunts

Instacart

Instacart

Oct 4, 2023

Halloween is creeping up, and people are gearing up for costume creativity, pumpkin carving, and candy hoarding. It’s also that time of year when we eagerly delve into Instacart’s purchase data to uncover the candies people savor or generously stuff into trick-or-treat bags. This year, we’re here delivering a tantalizing mix of sweet and scary discoveries, including the unveiling of the top Halloween-celebrating zip codes across the U.S., the most popular Halloween candies, state-by-state candy purchasing trends, and other bewitching insights.

Introducing the Scare Score 🧟

“For the first time ever, we’re introducing a tool that lets you enter your zip code to discover your area’s Scare Score. This score, determined by analyzing candy, costume, and decor purchases via Instacart, rates your community’s Halloween spirit — and shows the top candies in your zip code, so you know which treats your neighbors are most likely going to be handing out! You can also use it to pinpoint the places in your city with the highest Scare Scores — aka the ultimate trick-or-treating destinations,” shared Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s Trends Expert. “With this unique metric, we’ve also identified Halloween’s Best Haunts, a list of the top 10 zip codes boasting the highest Scare Scores — guaranteeing top-notch trick-or-treating experiences.” 

From Lehi, Utah to Lancaster, CA, here’s a look at the communities with the highest Scare Scores.

Best zip codes for tirck-or-treating

It’s worth noting that half of Halloween’s Best Haunts are in Utah and Texas — two states that clearly love to get into the Halloween spirit. So whether you find yourself in the picturesque landscapes of Utah or the sprawling Texan towns, you’re in for a Halloween treat. However, no matter where you reside, don’t forget to explore your neighborhood’s Scare Score here

Confectionary Champions 🍫

So which candies are being handed out at Halloween’s Best Haunts and beyond? Here’s a look at the top 10 most popular candies sold from Halloween 2022 to get a glimpse of what’s going to fill up candy bowls again soon:

Top 10 Halloween Candies

  • Chocolate over everything. Year after year, we see Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut M&M’s, and regular M&M’s grace the top 3 Halloween candies list, proving these delectable chocolates remain the go-to favorites across the United States. Following this top 3, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate comes in at #6, followed by KitKat at #9.
  • Fruity fun. The oh-so-classic Tootsie Pops with a myriad of fruit flavors come in at #4, followed by Twizzlers (#5), Sour Patch Kids (#7), and Starburst (#10) — all of which deliver a fruity punch to Halloween celebrations.
  • Keeping it classic. Candy Corn falls at #8 on our list. Whether they are too controversial or just a beloved classic, they just can’t stay away on Halloween night.

“Comparing this list of the top 10 Halloween candies to last year reveals some exciting changes. We’ve got three newcomers: Tootsie Pops, Sour Patch Kids, and Candy Corn — two classics and a candy with a modern sour twist, which tells us there’s a delectable blend of nostalgia and contemporary flavors showing up in candy bowls,” said Romaniuk.

Sweets Spanning the States 🍬

When observing the most popular Halloween candy in each state, it became evident that our top candy preferences don’t shift much across the board — with every state either preferring Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut M&M’s, or regular M&M’s. To take it a step further — and because we know trick-or-treat bags are filled with a diverse range of candies — we wanted to unveil each state’s uniquely popular Halloween favorite by identifying the candy that each state purchases more than the national average. Here’s the breakdown:

Top Candies by State

  • Alabama: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Alaska: Hi-Chew
  • Arizona: Peanut M&M’s
  • Arkansas: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • California: Red Vines
  • Colorado: Peanut M&M’s
  • Connecticut: Twizzlers
  • Delaware: Twizzlers
  • Florida: Dum-Dums
  • Georgia: Trolli Gummi Candy
  • Hawaii: Ferrero Rocher Hazelnut Chocolates
  • Idaho: Peanut M&M’s
  • Illinois: Twizzlers
  • Indiana: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Iowa: M&M’s
  • Kansas: M&M’s
  • Kentucky: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Louisiana: Tootsie Pops
  • Maine: Twizzlers
  • Maryland: Twizzlers
  • Massachusetts: M&M’s
  • Michigan: M&M’s
  • Minnesota: M&M’s
  • Mississippi: Candy Corn
  • Missouri: Tootsie Pops
  • Montana: Peanut M&M’s
  • Nebraska: Peanut M&M’s
  • Nevada: Red Vines
  • New Hampshire: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • New Jersey: Twizzlers
  • New Mexico: Tootsie Pops
  • New York: Twizzlers
  • North Carolina: Candy Corn
  • North Dakota: Peanut M&M’s
  • Ohio: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Oklahoma: Tootsie Rolls
  • Oregon: Peanut M&M’s
  • Pennsylvania: M&M’s
  • Rhode Island: Sour Patch Kids
  • South Carolina: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • South Dakota: M&M’s
  • Tennessee: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Texas: Ferrero Rocher Hazelnut Chocolates
  • Utah: Peanut M&M’s
  • Vermont: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Virginia: Candy Corn
  • Washington: Peanut M&M’s
  • Washington, D.C.: Snickers
  • West Virginia: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Wisconsin: M&M’s
  • Wyoming: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Curious about which of these states go all out on Halloween candy purchases? Here’s a look at the states that buy the most and least amount of candy for Halloween according to Instacart purchase data:

Sweet Toothed States

For the third year in a row, Utah comes out on top with the most candy purchased per customer, followed by Montana, Alaska, Idaho, and Wyoming. States that consume the least candy include Hawaii at no. 1, followed by Washington, D.C., Maine, Florida, and Alabama.

Happy Halloween 👻

Whether you’re out trick-or-treating or savoring confections at home, we wish you a ghoulishly good time!

Adjusted for Growth:

We adjust Instacart growth percentages by the overall growth of total deliveries. Doing so removes the influence of our platform growth so we can focus on the change in consumer behavior.

Instacart

Instacart

Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to deliver from more than 80,000 stores across more than 14,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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