Halloween Treats Madness

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Do you want to be the block hero? Buy a 200-piece assortment of classic candies. And how about 50 bite-size chocolate bars with that? A box of chips variety packs? A carton of small stacks of Pringles?

After pumpkin-themed grocery lists to celebrate fall, shopping carts are now 100% junk food for Halloween.

Unless you’re hosting a party, this is one of these food holidays where there is no cooking involved and no gathering around the table either. Halloween proudly features what you’re constantly being nagged to skip—good old sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and packaged “convenience food,” aka the stuff you grab near the checkout counter because the queue isn’t moving an inch and you’re getting hungry.

Indeed, Halloween homemade treats are pretty much out unless you want to be labelled as the neighbourhood weirdo who is trying to poison innocent kids, so you have to buy packaged snacks, preferably the peanut-free kind. Don’t worry, big brands have you covered.

Around mid-September, large boxes of most popular treats started taking over supermarkets aisles. The key words? “Fun size,” “snack size,” “bloody bite,” i.e. smaller versions of  chocolate bars to hand out on Halloween night. And if you think a large box of 200 pieces is too much, don’t worry—they are also marketed as “portable snacks” in “perfectly sized portions,” “great for school lunch bags.”

Please, allow me to pause and laugh at the portion size excuse. I mean, this is the land of all-you-can-eat buffet and “endless” shrimps/bread sticks/whatever restaurant managers decide. I strongly doubt that a box of 100 Nestle miniature bars will last past Christmas in most households.

I was also surprised to see that chips, Doritos, and Pringles were taking over the spooky holiday. I mean, “Halloween chips,” really? “Doritos treat bags”? Weird. When did Halloween start featuring chips? Don’t crunchy snacks belong with chicken wings and sports events?

Halloween has escalated from a fun custom into an all-out sugar grab, and every year, treat boxes get bigger and bigger. One more day of this, and then I’m guessing all the leftovers will be moved to the “snack” aisles and remarketed as “lunch food” instead of being discounted like chocolates after Christmas.

I’m conflicted. The French in me is sneering and scoffing at this very North American sense of moderation and proportion while the Canadian in me find the marketing solutions offered awfully practical.

Let’s all get high on sugar and debate.

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

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Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

Halloween sweets madness in supermarkets around Ottawa

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

13 Comments

  1. What are you taking about???
    *Staring at the half empty box of snack sized chocolate* **Yes the 100 pack one***
    😀
    But this is all because of school honnestly!
    Like they ask us to give treats to all the kids and then we go to Walmart and then the very big box is cheaper than the others and then we think “this years we gonna give treats to kids passing by our house for HAlloween and then we remember that because our house has no decorations nobody will come plus our street is dead most of the time and then we have no choice but eating all the chocolate, have we?
    Okay maybe not BEFORE Halloween but here the Halloween party was on Friday so…

    • The school didn’t request snacks here, weird. And we don’t stock up anymore because hardly anyone in the neighbourhood celebrates Halloween… but five or six years ago, we had to buy candies in bulk from Bulk Barn because dozens of kids would show up!

      What’s your favourite treat? I’d say Bounty Bars and Lindt chocolate (I have luxury taste, I know!)

      • KITKAT!
        Ok our house is a battlefield when it comes to Kitkat or coffee crisp! 🙂

        Actually we found it weird that the schools here request candies for Halloween.
        I mean they ban chocolate fram school because it’s unhealthy, some kids end up not being allowed to eat their daily snack because it’s chocolate covered or things like that but don’t mess with Halloween you HAVE TO have SUGAR.

        No kids ever showed up to our place 🙁
        So unfortunalety we have to keep all the treats for ourselves.
        Also here ther are streets where poeple take HAlloween VERY seriously so all the neighbourgs together create a decor and even a small haunted house, so all the kids wants to go there.
        But we don’t. I am feeling really uncomfortable at Halloween with all these strangers talking to you etc…

        But why in your neighbourhood nobody celebrates Halloween???
        No kids?

        • Oh, Coffee Crips is awesome. It’s Canadian too, they don’t have it in the US 🙂 I take a Bounty Bar over a KitKat though, sorry!

          I don’t agree with school policies when it comes to food. It’s just ridiculous, because we are pretty much forced to give kids packaged food anyway (I mean, no microwave, no fridge, no set lunch… I’m sorry, most kids don’t munch on carrot sticks!) but we pretend that sugar is BAAAAAD. I have a problem with sugar being in foods where it shouldn’t be (bread, sauce) but hey, chocolate, candies and pastries are part of life.

          There used to be many kids in our neighbourhood, not so many these days it seems. It’s quieter than it was ten years ago, for sure. Many families have kids too young for Halloween or it’s families with much older kids.

      • Ahah funny!
        I’m really freaked out by supermarkets where food is in so many boxes. It’s been a while, I don’t know why! It can be funny for my boyfriend the 2 times a year we go to Picard and I’m dumbfounded “What is that? But how should I cook that?! I’m lost!”. And so many products that look alike but yet are different (or the packaging is). How Am I supposed to pick one? It takes ages. Ugh.
        I shop at the farmers market, like 80% of the food I eat, then for the dry goods I go to a bulk store! 🙂

        • Picard does freak me out. I’m not a huge fan of frozen food… weird bias, I know, I do buy packaged food after all (pasta, etc.) but it feels less… industrial.

          I wish I could shop at farmers’ markets but it’s not going to happen here! I do buy in bulk too, though.

  2. As usual it looks like you have way more choices than we do! Mind you I haven’t tried WalMart or the bigger stores where I work yet. Each year (my other half is addicted to chocolate), I buy a couple of the smaller bags (25 fun size bars) that we share. I’m not a big fan of chocolate bars but I have to admit I like the smaller ones. They are just the right size to satisfy my cravings without giving me a headache, or when feeling really “gourmande” I can have a couple of different flavours at once 😉
    Incidentally, I think they make a good “food gift” to send back to France, it’s pretty fun and isn’t found back home

    • I actually brought Canadian (and American) candies and bars to France last time, just for fun. My dad loves them 😆

      We didn’t use to have so many boxes/so much choice before. I clearly remember buying candies at Bulk Barn before Mark, to hand out on Halloween. It just got bigger and bigger over the years.

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