The National Retail Federation predicts that this fall “consumer spending on Halloween-related items is expected to reach an all-time high of $10.14 billion, up from $8.05 billion in 2020.” Of this total, spending on candy is estimated to reach $3 billion, up from $2.014 billion.

Not to be outdone by candy, ice cream sales in 2021, per an article in Dairy Foods, is on pace to overtake record demand established in 2020: 
“Recent data provided to the Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) show hard ice cream production for the first five months of 2021 running ahead of last year, when hard ice cream production set a five-year high with more than 1 billion gallons produced.”
While it’s somewhat counter-intuitive, indulgences like giving out (and consuming) candy during a holiday like Halloween or splurging on a little more ice cream (especially in a pandemic) can actually fall within the sphere of a health and wellness lifestyle today, since increasingly, as we observe in our Health & Wellness: Reimagining Well-being Amid COVID-19 report, “Although indulgence may suggest deviation from a norm, it can also be motivated by nostalgia and desire for a kind of normality—of particular salience amid all the change of the past year.”

While health and wellness lifestyles are often associated with diets that favor foods and beverages with a clean ingredient profile and essential nutrients, it is also important to note that there is a mainstream consensus on balance today, specifically balance between physical and mental health and balance between dietary discipline and enjoyment of a broad range of healthy (and sometimes indulgent) foods.

Underscoring this perspective, Health & Wellness: Reimagining Well-being Amid COVID-19 finds that 41% of consumers agree that indulgent foods and beverages constitute an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. The report notes:
“The stressors of 2020 have consumers—and the marketplace—talking a great deal about indulgence. Consumer definitions of indulgence encompass a variety of ways they might relax their personal rules, including: increased spending, opting to outsource to restaurants, consuming more “unhealthy” food/beverage, or even simply deviating from the typical schedule of when they eat or drink certain items.”
Curious to learn more about how consumer behavior is influencing consumption in the food and beverage marketplace? We have a wealth of insights, both upcoming and current: