Fresh Take: Halloween’s $3 Billion Candy Stash

Food & Drink

Am I the only one who keeps Pinterest-searching “spooky food?” I’m surprisingly impressed by so many recipes: pink brain topped cupcakes, meatloaf monsters, spaghetti as bloody intestines, mozzarella balls melted into skulls, mummified jalapeno pepper poppers, pot pies with gaping mouths carved out of dough. I loved the idea for berry-stuffed lychees, dropped into a glass of something red and transformed into eyeballs.

These homemade recipes are whimsical and fun. They don’t take themselves too seriously, and that’s probably what I respond to most. The world of food brands is tense right now, and many companies are struggling. Some startups are agreeing to bad deal terms as they search for funding, while many young companies are considering folding. These pressures come as grocers prioritize the big brands, which can afford the high fees required to maintain on store shelves. The dynamic impacts most food sold. That includes in the candy aisle, where shelves are now overflowing in anticipation of Halloween. Big candy companies are trick-or-treating, too: More than $3 billion worth of candy is purchased every year.

Enjoy your Friday the 13th!

P.S. Colorado friends, kick off Mischief Night with me! My book tour is popping up at Boulder Book Store with a signing and discussion of Raw Deal on Monday, Oct. 30, starting at 6 p.m. Mountain Time. Register for free admission here.

— Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer

Order my book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, out now from Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books.

This is Forbes’ Fresh Take newsletter, which every Friday brings you the latest on the big ideas changing the future of food. Want to get it in your inbox every week? Sign up here.

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Field Notes

I’ve been on a clam chowder cleanse. I like to kick off soup season with my annual October trip to Cape Cod. Besides, it’s hard to find sustenance more sustainable than local clams.

Thanks for reading the 88th edition of Forbes Fresh Take! Let me know what you think. Subscribe to Forbes Fresh Take here.

Chloe Sorvino leads coverage of food and agriculture as a staff writer on the enterprise team at Forbes. Her book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, published on December 6, 2022, with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. Her nearly nine years of reporting at Forbes has brought her to In-N-Out Burger’s secret test kitchen, drought-ridden farms in California’s Central Valley, burnt-out national forests logged by a timber billionaire, a century-old slaughterhouse in Omaha and even a chocolate croissant factory designed like a medieval castle in northern France.

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