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    Invasion of the Candy-Snatchers

    Survey: Vast majority of moms raid their kids’ Halloween loot

    Trick-or-treaters may need to keep a closer watch on their loot, because the vast majority of moms admit they raid their kids’ Halloween candy, according to a new survey from Supervalu Inc.

    According to the Supervalu Halloween Moms Survey, 92 percent of U.S. moms said they raid their kids' candy bag after trick-or-treating. In fact, candy-raiding may be a more popular family tradition today than in the past. When asked whether their parents raided their candy when they were little, only 72 percent of moms said they thought their parents did.

    More than 40 percent of today’s moms are on the hunt for chocolate. Topping the list of moms’ favorite candies are Snickers bars (18 percent), Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (14 percent), Twix (8 percent) and M&Ms, although 15 percent say they like everything.

    As for kids’ preferences, most (39 percent) like “all types of candy,” followed closely by chocolate (37 percent). Specific favorites cited include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (13 percent), Snickers (11 percent), Hershey’s chocolate (8 percent) and M&Ms (7 percent). Kids’ least favorite Halloween candies are hard candy and licorice (10 percent each), candy corn (9 percent), and gum and nuts (4 percent each).

    While 80 percent of moms don't limit the amount of candy their kids collect, nine in 10 moms say they limit the amount their kids consume. Nearly three-quarters of moms say they let their kids have one to four pieces of candy per day until it’s gone. From a kid’s perspective, a lucky 8 percent are allowed to eat five to 10 pieces a day until their loot is gone.

    “It’s clear from the survey that the entire family likes to treat themselves – literally and figuratively – on Halloween,” said Jeff Strawn, Supervalu director of candy. “According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend about $21 each on Halloween candy this year.”

    When asked at what age a person is too old to go trick-or-treating, nearly 20 percent of moms said, “You're never too old to trick-or-treat!” Another 14 percent said kids are too old at 17-plus years of age, and 17 percent said it’s time to stop trick-or-treating when you reach the age of 13.

    Nostalgic moms listed candy corn as their favorite “retro” candy (7 percent) followed by Mary Janes (4 percent). Other favorite “retro” candies named by moms include Tootsie Rolls, Hershey’s Whatchamacallits, Charleston Chews, Charms Blow Pop suckers, Bit-O-Honeys, Bottle Caps, Root Beer Barrels and Milk Duds.

    Money was listed by 16 percent of moms as the strangest treat they or their kids have ever received on Halloween. Other strange treats included a toothbrush (7 percent), popcorn ball (4 percent) and fruit (3 percent).

    The Supervalu Halloween Moms Survey also took a closer look at the candy-eating and other Halloween preferences of people living in markets where its network of stores are located, including Boston (Shaw’s), Chicago (Jewel-Osco), Minneapolis/St. Paul (Cub Foods), Philadelphia (Acme) and San Diego (Albertsons), showing that preferences vary by region.

    Chicago: Snickers bars were by far and away the No. 1 choice of both moms (38 percent) and kids (22 percent) in the Windy City, compared with 18 percent of moms and 11 percent of kids nationally.

    Minneapolis/St. Paul: Only 8 percent of Twin Cities moms said they like candy with nuts in it the most, compared with 15 percent of moms nationwide. On the other hand, 17 percent of Twin Cities moms prefer candy with caramel in it, well above the national average of just 11 percent. When asked what the “strangest” treat moms or their kids received on Halloween, 10 percent said a pencil or pen, and 6 percent each said a popcorn ball, toothbrush or money.

    Philadelphia: Kids may want to hide their candy in Philly, as this city ranked the highest (97 percent) in the number of moms who admit to raiding their kids’ Halloween candy. More Philadelphia moms said their parents had raided their own Halloween candy when they were younger (80 percent), compared with the rest of the country (72 percent).

    San Diego: The city had the lowest percentage of moms listing chocolate as their kids’ favorite candy (35 percent) and the highest percentage listing fruit-flavored candy as their kids’ top choice (12 percent). San Diego moms ranked Milky Way and Almond Joy bars among their top five favorite Halloween candies, replacing Twix and M&Ms on the national top five favorite candy list.

    The study was conducted between Oct. 19 and 23; the target audience was moms with kids of trick-or-treating age living at home (5 to 15 years old).

    Minneapolis-based Supervalu Inc. operates 4,300 stores composed of 1,106 traditional retail stores, including 800 in-store pharmacies; 1,294 hard-discount stores, of which 915 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,900 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s traditional food distribution business.

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