Crap! Did I fall asleep and totally miss the rest of August and all of September?
That’s what I wondered as I was walking through the grocery store, turned the corner, and was confronted with a 15 foot pumpkin. There’s a ghostie that peeks out of the top, too. Frightening indeed. Though I’m posting this today, this has actually been up in the store for a while. You can see the photo of candy corn in this post from last week.
There is also this whole wall of candy.
Don’t you think this kind of thing is totally out of control? It’s bad enough that Christmas has crept into the stores right after Halloween. At least with Christmas, a lot of people like to start on their shopping and prep early. But Halloween candy? The trick is to get you to buy lots and lots of treats. Get it? Trick or Treat? Ha ha.
Anyway, the marketing powers think it will go something like this:
Oh, look at that, Halloween candy. Maybe I should just buy it now, since I’m here, and put it away until October.
same shopper later that night:
Wow, I sure do have a sweet tooth. Maybe just one piece of Halloween candy, and then I’ll put it away until October.
same shopper 15 minutes later:
How did I manage to eat that whole bag of candy in one sitting? Oh well, I’ll just buy some more for Halloween the next time I’m at the store.
Repeat several times before Halloween.
Add in little kids excited about witches and ghouls, and even the strongest parents can melt under the pressure for candy.
At this point, it seems like a losing battle. The candy companies have unlimited marketing dollars behind them and lots at stake in terms of sales, so how does the average consumer change things? It’s a good question, and I’m open to ideas. Right now, I’m fighting the battle on a small front–with my kids. Every time we see this thing at the store I talk about how ridiculous it is, and how the point is to get people to buy tons of candy. We’ve already talked a lot about why that isn’t a heathy choice, and I just keep hammering it home.
Now I don’t want a bunch of people out there thinking I’m a Halloween hater. I actually really love Halloween, and am already thinking about costumes. I don’t hate treats either, as evidenced in this post, and this post, among others. I just don’t think we should be sending the message that all candy, all the time is the way to go. It’s hard enough to make smart choices without having junk shoved in your face when you’re just trying to buy some lettuce!