No tricks…all about Halloween treats!

27/Oct/17 / 06:00

As Halloween creeps closer, candy is flooding the shelves of every grocery store, pharmacy, and gas station. From classics like Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to seasonal favorites like candy corn, many households will be stocked with these sweet treats for the costumed crowds who will be ringing doorbells and shouting “Trick-or-treat!” on October 31st.
We might consider collecting as much candy as possible to be the ultimate Halloween experience, but that wasn’t always the expectation. Prior to the 1970s, candy wasn’t the only treat that you’d find in your plastic jack-o-lantern or pillowcase during the night. In the ’30s and ’40s, when trick-or-treating was just beginning to become a Halloween tradition,(1) it was customary to hand out cookies, fruit, cake, and even non-food items like toys and coins.(2) Nowadays, individually wrapped (and fun-sized) candies are the way to go!

Here are more fun facts that you can hand out along with those sweet treats on Halloween:


  • This October, Google’s most searched Halloween sweets are donuts, M&Ms, candy corn, candy bark, and chocolate (Google Trends)
  • Consumers are expected to spend $2.7 billion on candy this Halloween (USA Today)
  • The top three most popular Halloween candies in the state of Illinois are Sour Patch Kids, Kit Kats, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (Candy Store)
  • Some of today’s most popular candy names are classics, dating back prior to 1945: Hershey’s, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, M&Ms and Kit Kats(1)
  • Candy Corn is perhaps the most iconic Halloween candy and was invented by George Renninger in the 1880s. Love ’em or hate ’em, National Candy Corn Day is celebrated on October 30(3)

While Halloween candy might be delicious, it’s also not very nutritious. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to the typical trick-or-treaters’ fare, consider handing out mini pretzels, granola bars, fruit leather, trail mix, small boxes of raisins, or pre-packaged drink mixes like apple cider. Whatever you decide to pass out should be pre-packaged and fully sealed(4) – homemade treats might sound more tasty and festive, but most parents of trick-or-treaters going door to door will prefer pre-bought goodies.
Pip the tacoThis Halloween, many people will be dressing up as one of their favorite things – food! From couples’ costumes to pets, we’d love to see your food-related costume! Share your photo on Facebook or Twitter and tag Northern Illinois Food Bank – we’ll share our favorites!


How You Can Help:


  • Volunteer at one of our Centers in Geneva, Rockford or Park City sorting and packing food
  • Donate to help us solve hunger in your community – every $1 donated provides $8 worth of food.



Want More?




(1) Nix, Elizabeth. “The Haunted History of Halloween Candy.”, A&E Television Networks, 31 Oct. 2014.

(2) Kawash, Samira. “How Candy and Halloween Became Best Friends.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 21 Oct. 2010.

(3) Nowak, Claire. “Halloween Candy Facts.”

(4) Dvorak, Theresa. “Three Healthier Alternatives to Handing Out Halloween Candy.” University of Utah Health Sciences Radio, The Scope, 24 Oct. 2016.