Every year after candy is bought for trick-or-treating during Halloween, candy prices drop.
Joshua Hall, professor and chair in the economics department at WVU, explained that an excess of confectionary is a major factor.
“Halloween’s like the one time of the year, maybe Easter would be the other, where we have a change in our consumption patterns around candy,” Hall said. “Normally you or I go to the store, we’re checking out we’re like, 'Oh, there's an Almond Joy, I haven’t had Almond Joy in a while.’ I’m gonna consume the Almond Joy right then and there, but Halloween, people are buying a large amount for some date out in the future, for Halloween day.".
Hall said that stores aim to meet the increased demand for candy and are more likely to buy too much than to risk losing money by not buying enough.
“If people can’t find what they’re expecting to find at the places they normally shop, you might lose them for other purchases as well,” Hall said.
Hall also said that prices do not necessarily rise before Halloween.
“Any time demand for any good, Halloween candy, or paper, or Easter, or eggs around Easter, it goes up. Somebody has an opportunity, an incentive to try to supply that, and as long as their costs aren’t going to go up to do that, there's no reason price should increase,” he said.
Stores also try to avoid having a shortage of popular candy.
“I think there's lots of uncertainty over what candy is going to be in demand,” Hall said. “And so it might seem a lot in aggregate; you know if we look at the sale bins after Halloween, but again, it's better to be able to satisfy the demands of customers, and then get what you can afterwards.”
Heather Joyce, a senior elementary education student, says that she, like many people, like to sample a variety of different flavors around Halloween.
“I try to get a variety of candy so that everyone's tastes can be accommodated for, so I’ll try to get a variety pack, like one of chocolate and then like one of sour candy,” Joyce said.
Joyce typically buys her candy at Kroger. She also likes to shop after Halloween to get clearance candy.
“The caramel apple lollipops — the actual hard candy part is apple flavored and then they’re dipped almost in caramel so it tastes like a caramel apple,” she said. “It feels fall, Halloween-ish.”
As an elementary education student, Joyce also described the types of candy she would consider buying for a class.
“I’d probably get something that's not too unhealthy, something that’s got, maybe something easy and like not real messy,” Joyce said. “Like an M&M’S. M&M’S are pretty, you can hold them in your hand and they won’t melt too bad, or like something sour, like Skittles, and they’re colorful and fun, so who doesn’t love that?”