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Halloween Treats Madness

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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