By Michael Monopoli
Leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping, and the spooky season is officially upon us. While some of us start to pull the long-lost sweaters out from the back of our closets, others are planning the perfect costume for Halloween night. With mask mandates no longer in effect, and Halloween night just around the corner, I was wondering how Canadians were feeling about venturing out and celebrating All Hallows’ Eve this Monday night.
Our survey finds 28% of Canadian parents saying that their child(ren) will be trick-or-treating this Halloween. This number is lowest in SK/MB (8%) and QC (8%), and highest in ON (51%). Furthermore, 43% of adults in Canada will be opening their doors to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters this Halloween. Again, this number is lowest in SK/MB (8%) and highest in ON (43%).
The most common reasons for not handing out candy on Halloween night are living in a controlled entry building (29%) and having a lack of children in the area (20%). These were followed by being busy on Halloween night (11%), not celebrating the holiday (11%), and concerns over the cost of purchasing the candy (11%). Another 8% of Canadians will not be handing out candy due to the risks associated with Covid-19.
Wondering what to give out this Halloween so everyone leaves your front porch happy? Well, we asked Canadians what the best and worst Halloween candy is and assigned each candy a net promoter score (%Best – %Worst) to see how they compare. Skittles received the best score at +8. This was followed by Swedish Berries (+4), Starburst (+4), and Fuzzy Peaches (+3). The candies that received the lowest scores (and ones you should definitely hold off on handing out) include licorice (-4) and Candy Corn (-22).
With that said, many of us would much prefer chocolate to candy, so we asked the same question with different chocolate bar options instead and found that Canadians overwhelmingly prefer KitKats to any other chocolate on Halloween night. When looking at their net promoter scores, it is evident that KitKats (+26), Reese’s (+5), and Aeros (+3) are the best options to avoid unhappy trick-or-treaters this Monday night. With that said, Snickers (-7) and Twix (-17) should probably be avoided.
So now that we know what we are handing out, what can we expect to show up at our door? Well, Halloween costumes change so drastically from year to year that I wanted to go back to some of the classic Halloween costumes and see which Canadians felt were best to dress in for the occasion. As it turns out, Canadians believe dressing as a witch to be the best classic Halloween costume (31%). This was followed by a vampire (23%), a ghost (20%), and Frankenstein (12%).
Thinking back on these classic Halloween costumes led me to remember some of the memorable things I had received throughout my years of trick-or-treating. This led me to wonder what other memorable things Canadians have been given on Halloween night. When asked what the best thing they have ever received on Halloween night was, 45% of Canadians said a full-sized chocolate bar. Interestingly, this was followed by 17% who said the best thing they have received was money and 13% who said a can of pop. On the flip side, apples (46%) top the list of worst things received on Halloween night followed by a toothbrush (10%) and stale/expired candy (9%).
The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from October 14 to 19, 2022. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.
The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.53% 19 times out of 20.
The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
ABOUT ABACUS DATA
We are the only research and strategy firm that helps organizations respond to the disruptive risks and opportunities in a world where demographics and technology are changing more quickly than ever.
We are an innovative, fast-growing public opinion and marketing research consultancy. We use the latest technology, sound science, and deep experience to generate top-flight research-based advice to our clients. We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail, and exceptional value.
We were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in 2019.
Contact us with any questions.
Find out more about how we can help your organization by downloading our corporate profile and service offering.
Don't miss any of our research and analysis, sign up for our weekly newsletter.