Experts Worry Halloween Cancellations Will Devastate Candy and Costume Sales

halloween 2020 candy pumpkin jack o lantern
(Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on everyone around the world, as its spread earlier this year impacted a number of industries and events, with experts now curious about how the pandemic will impact Halloween and its celebrations. As seen with Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Independence Day, people have altered their plans for gatherings, but the communal nature of Halloween, as well as the ways in which it brings people into close contact with one another, will likely see not only celebrations impacted, but also the costuming and candy industry being severely impacted by altered festivities.

A new report from the Los Angeles Times points out that Halloween candy represents 10% of Hershey's sales for the year, while Party City cites Halloween as making up a fifth of its annual revenue. Another store that relies on holiday celebrations is Spirit Halloween, which aims to open with heightened safety protocols. Spirit locations typically open in late August and close in early November.

“It’s been a challenging year, but we promise to keep the Halloween spirit alive,” Spirit Halloween said in a statement.

Hershey's, however, still hopes that consumers will take part in the tradition of Halloween candy, even if they aren't passing it out to trick-or-treaters.

"If trick-or-treat tends to be a little lower than expectation, clearly, we will focus even more on the ‘treat for me’ and the candy bowl,” Melissa Poole, Hershey’s vice president of investor relations, shared with the outlet.

As proven with holidays earlier this year, the pandemic will surely impact Halloween but it won't be cancelled entirely. Unfortunately, some highly anticipated Halloween events have, in fact, been cancelled.

One of the biggest surprises came when Universal Studios announced that this year's Halloween Horror Nights in both Orlando and Hollywood would be postponed until next year. Interestingly, Universal Studios Orlando has already reopened for daily visitors, leaving fans to wonder why the specific after-hours event has been scrapped. Universal Studios Hollywood, meanwhile, has yet to begin the reopening process following its closure earlier this year.

All California amusement parks will remain closed indefinitely due to the number of daily confirmed cases of coronavirus. Earlier this week, Knott's Berry Farm confirmed that it was canceling its annual "Knott's Scary Farm" event. Six Flags parks across the country still aim to move forward with their Fright Fest event, though they noted they are making modifications for health and safety.

Stay tuned for details on Halloween celebrations.


Are you looking forward to Halloween this year? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!

Header photo courtesy of FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images