U.S. Halloween treat giving expected to be down 10% this year

New Delta Dental survey finds some age groups & regions bucking the trend

OAK BROOK, Illinois - October 28, 2016 - Tougher times for trick-or-treaters may be in store this Halloween. A new survey, out today from Delta Dental, finds that 10 percent fewer adults say they'll hand any treats out this Halloween compared to last year.

The sharp treat giving decline to 68 percent this year from 78 percent in 2015 won't hold true for all age groups of treat givers or for all regions:


  •  80 percent of Millennials plan to hand out treats, 12 percent higher than Gen-Xers (68 percent) and 18 percent higher than Boomers (62 percent).
  • Treat giving will be highest in the Northeast, where 70 percent of adults plan to hand out treats on Halloween.
  • 23 percent of U.S. adults say they plan to hand out something other than candy (money: 9 percent and pencils, stickers or small toys: 14 percent).

On the upside for trick-or-treaters, they can expect to see more of the top candy, chocolate. The treat, which continues to reign supreme among Halloween candy, is seeing gains in favorability this year among treat givers, 67 percent of U.S. adults 18 plus say they'll hand out chocolate this Halloween vs. 59 percent last year.

Delta Dental Plans Association is releasing some quick tips to combat Halloween sugar consumption:


  • Eat dinner before trick-or-treating. If your children have full bellies, they may be less likely to overindulge in while they are out collecting their candy haul.
  • Enjoy Halloween candy only after a meal, to take advantage of increased saliva production to help wash away the sugar left by candy.
  • Avoid between meal candy snacking. The more times the teeth are exposed to sugar each day the more likely they are to get decay.
  • Make sure your children drink extra water to stay hydrated during trick-or-treating and to help wash away sugar that may otherwise cause tooth decay.
  • Remind children to brush for two minutes and floss after they dig into their trick-or-treat bags. Practicing good oral hygiene will help keep their mouths clean and their teeth free of decay.

About the Survey: The Delta Dental Plans Association Fall 2016 Survey was conducted between October 18 and October 25, 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,009 Americans 18+. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent. For a copy of the survey, please email: dirwin@deltadental.com