Editor’s note: The information below is based on data scraped from October 10 to October 25 unless otherwise stated.
Along with most living expenses the past few years, the costs associated with Hallowe’en have risen steadily. Not only candy, but animatronics and costumes have also increased in price dramatically. According to the American financial analysis website MoneyGeek.com, candy prices alone went up 17 per cent between 2021 and 2022.
As we approach Hallowe’en, fluctuations in all food prices continue. There are various changes among the themed products, as one might expect this time of year. Some retailers are putting candy on sale, but these prices end on October 25.
Many of us have memories of the homes where residents would give out full candy bars to trick-or-treaters instead of their smaller counterparts. It’s getting harder to be that beloved neighbour. If you’re buying full bars and are buying in bulk, there is a price premium.
For example, at Loblaws Nestlé’s Full-Sized Halloween Assorted Bars (8 bars) at $11.99 work out to $3.29 per 100g. Compare that to the small format assorted box, which works out to less than a third of the cost at $1.02 per 100g. An alternative Nestlé product at Loblaws is $2.82 per 100g.
Among the most deeply discounted items are Mixed Chicks Hallowe’en Carton at No Frills. This box features common small-sized candy bars like Mars, Twix, and Snickers, 50 per cent off at $7.99 until October 25. It is not, however, the cheapest item per 100g.
Mixed Carton Halloween Carton, Mixed Chicks
The cheapest candy by weight that we found in our data collection is the 1.3kg bag of Tootsie Rolls’ Assorted Hallowe’en Candy at Real Canadian Superstores at $10.99, which works out to $0.85 per 100g. This same item is $15 (36 per cent more expensive) at Loblaws.
Tootsie Roll Assorted Halloween Candy, 1.3Kg
Available at Real Canadian Superstores
Sale until Oct 25th
Same item $15 in Loblaws
Other notable findings are Fruity Hallowe’en Candy’s individually wrapped box of 70 candies and Nestlé’s box of 50 Hallowe’en mini bars, both available at No Frills. Fruity’s box at $7.99, on sale for close to half price, costs $0.97 per 100g. The Nestlé box of bars at $4.99 costs $0.99 per 100g.
Fruity Halloween Candy, Individually Wrapped Fun Size Assortment, 70 Count
Available at No Frills
Nestlé Mini Halloween Assorted Bars, 50 Mini Bars
At select No Frills
There is a significant price disparity between similar cupcakes at Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills. Hallowe’en branding seems to be relevant here. Two-Bite Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes at No Frills locations are typically listed at $4.00 per package.
Loblaws is now carrying a very similar product but with Hallowe’en branding at a higher price point of $5.29, 32 per cent higher than No Frills’ product. Real Canadian Superstore, meanwhile, has the Hallowe’en branded Two Bite cupcakes at $4.00.
Of course, common food staples are also changing in price throughout fall. Over the past 2 months we have seen celery (priced as a bunch) fluctuate in price anywhere between $1.99 and $3.99. The average price across our database since August 25 is $3.37.
The average price of margarine since August 25 has also varied modestly. The peak price in this period was $1.02 per 100g the week of October 14. The lowest average price actually happened this week, at $0.88 per 100g. This single key food item was 16 per cent more expensive only a week ago.
Statistics Canada tracks a list of essential items on their Market Basket Measure page. One of their key findings is that “the cost of the food basket rose 2.4% between 2020 and 2021 and 8.8% between 2021 and 2022.” The latter period marked a dramatic increase in the rate of price increases for groceries.
Our goal this fall is to integrate some of the information in their list of essential food items into our public reports and data site. These items are deemed important on a national level, especially for people at lower income levels who have competing priorities between housing, food and other needs.
Overall, food prices continue to be unstable, with similar products varying significantly depending on the retailer. Seasonal sales and price changes are to be expected with Hallowe’en candy. There are deals at most retailers for those looking to get the best bang for their buck while celebrating the season.