Sweet! Trick-or-treaters should hit grandma's house for choicest candy

IMAGE: Halloween candy
Halloween candygsk2014 / Shutterstock / gsk2014

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By Alesandra Dubin

If you’re looking for the most lucrative houses to hit with your trick-or-treaters this year, find the homes in the neighborhood belonging to seniors.

Senior citizens love to give out candy corn, a survey says.gsk2014 / Today

New data from the National Confectioners Association shows that people aged 60-plus are most likely to hand out candy on the big night.

In the association’s recent survey of 1,800 adult consumers, 84 percent of people in that demographic planned to hand out candy this year, compared with 75 percent overall. And they’re well-stocked, too: Only 37 percent of respondents in this category reported running out of treats, versus half of the general population.

What’s behind the trend? “The baby boom generation was the first to celebrate Halloween the way we do today,” National Confectioners Association vice president of communications Susan Whiteside told TODAY.com, noting that the baby boom generation also includes people who are as young as 50 and as old as 68 this year. “They’re the first generation who sent their kids out trick-or-treating who had also done it themselves, so they knew what was going to be fun. And now they’re the first generation of grandparents who have done it. Because it’s something they really loved, it’s something they love to continue. I always say, ‘If you love Halloween, thank a baby boomer.’”

The confectioners association survey also shows older folks are likelier to favor traditional candies like candy corn. And it shows that 23 percent of parents report taking candy from their children — more frequently from their young and innocent babes than from the likelier-to-freak-out-about-it teen group.

Another reason why the 60-plus group wins at the candy game? Well, they’re home to answer the door. “We found that they are less likely to do things like go to an adult-oriented Halloween party," Whiteside says. The survey found that while about 51 percent of the 18-to-29 year old age group is likely to attend a Halloween party, only 14 percent of the 60-plus generation is. 

So what lies ahead in trick or treat trends? “One thing that’s happened in the last 20 years is more adult-oriented Halloween parties,” Whiteside says. “As more of the millennials get older and have children, maybe we’ll morph into a new kind of era that is a combination of family-friendly and grown-up activities. It’s a bit too early to say.”

Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.