Worried that kids won't trick-or-treat this October, Hershey's is sending Halloween candy to stores a full month earlier than expected

  • Hershey's is preparing for a downturn in trick-or-treating candy sales by extending the Halloween shopping season at stores like Albertson's.
  • The company relies on Halloween for 10% of their sales, according to CNN Business.
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It might be the dog days of summer, but supermarkets are already stocking Halloween sweets. Hershey's is partnering with retailers to extend the Halloween shopping season by an extra 2-4 weeks, according to CNN Business.

Albertson's, which owns Safeway, is one of the first to make the move, by putting up Halloween displays in August rather than mid-September, according to CNN Business. 

As the nation continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are grappling with changes in consumer behavior. Retail giant Unilever's Q2 earnings noted that demand for out-of-home restaurant food has plummeted, while grocery sales are strong. Rather than eating in restaurants, Americans are cooking at home. 

Hershey's is anticipating a similar trend this Halloween. Social-distancing requirements, and a predicted second wave of cases this autumn, will likely deter trick-or-treating. In turn, Hershey's will be rolling out displays of candy earlier, in order to compensate for decreased doorstep demand, according to CNN Business. The company relies on Halloween for 10% of sales. 

The choice certainly plays to Americans' quarantine diets: Many have turned to comfort food, including candy, throughout the pandemic. Sales of chocolate have been on the rise since mid-March, according to Nielsen. The pandemic trend is so prevalent that it has sparked a health problem of its own: weight gain.

Hershey global chief sales officer Phil Stanley told CNN Business that they'll also be cutting back on Halloween packaging to focus on candy that's consumed at home, rather than distributed on the front porch. So although Hershey's revealed a new lineup of Halloween candy, including Cookies N' Creme "Fangs" and "Vampire Kisses," which bleed strawberry creme, the special editions will take a backseat to traditional packaging.

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