Friday Funny: Sweet Stats To Improve Your Halloween Haul

The West Coast has it in the bag when it comes to the best places in the U.S. to go trick or treating.

Hoping your trick-or-treating efforts bring in a big haul this Halloween? You may want to focus on the West Coast. Turns out that’s where candy collecting promises to be most lucrative this year, according to two separate rankings.

Top 10 Cities For Trick-or-Treating

If you want to get the most candy in the least amount of time this Halloween, San Francisco and San Jose, CA are the best cities for trick-or-treating in 2017, according to Zillow’s annual Trick-or-Treat Index¹.

Every October Zillow® identifies the best cities and neighborhoods in the U.S. for trick-or-treaters looking to score the most candy in the least amount of time. To do this, Zillow economists ranked cities based on home values, the share of population under 10 years old, and single family home density.

HalloweenOnce again, San Francisco tops the 2017 rankings, reclaiming the #1 spot thanks to high home values (Zillow predicts these neighborhoods will give out the biggest candy bars) and homes that are close together to minimize the time it takes to go door-to-door. San Francisco has ranked number one on Zillow’s list for the past four out of five years.

“Searching for neighborhoods with the best candy is a Halloween tradition for many kids and their parents,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “Our annual list is a fun way for families to see how their neighborhood stacks up against others when it comes to trick-or-treating. These are places we think will have plenty of candy and lots of young kids running around from door to door. If you don’t live in one of these cities, look for areas that are getting into the Halloween spirit with decorations and lots of costumed kids.”

Washington, DC made the biggest jump this year, moving up 12 spots to number eight. Long Beach, CA; El Paso, TX; and Mesa, AZ broke into the top 20 for the first time, while Sacramento, CA and Charlotte, NC returned to the list this year after dropping off in 2016. Philadelphia slipped to third after leading the rankings last year.

The complete rankings, including the best neighborhoods in each city for trick-or-treating, are available online.

Top States For Spooky Sweets

Children in the Pacific Northwest may be in for a real treat this year: According to Ibotta’s examination of candy purchases across all 50 states in the lead-up to Halloween for the past two years, Oregon and Washington topped the rankings as the best states for trick-or-treating, based on average candy purchases per person.

HalloweenThe findings, which included an analysis of 150,000 item-level receipts for candy bought the week before Halloween in 2015 and 2016, revealed that Oregonians spent more on Halloween candy than residents of any other state, an average of $40.29, with Washington, New Jersey, Utah, and California rounding out the top five best states for trick-or-treaters.

Ohio was the worst state for trick-or-treating, with only $11.22 spent per person, followed by Georgia, Michigan, Alabama, and Colorado. Children in those states might need to double up on houses or squeeze in one more neighborhood block to score a candy haul this Halloween.

Nationwide, Americans spent an average of $16.45 per person on Halloween candy.

If you’re looking to save a few bucks on the candy you’ll be giving out, Ibotta suggests you shop sooner rather than later. Based on the average price of candy in that same timeframe, Ibotta found that consumers got the best deals on candy four days before Halloween, when the average price was $1.94 per unit. That was in stark contrast to October 30, when the median cost rose to $2.75, making Halloween Eve the worst day to save money on candy. This may be attributed to shoppers making purchase decisions based on what is still available on store shelves rather than comparison shopping for a better deal.

The analysis also uncovered which candies are handed out to trick-or-treaters across the country, preparing kids for the inevitable candy swap with friends and siblings at the end of the night. Oregonians’ top candy of choice was 3 Musketeers, while 100 Grand Bars were most frequently bought in Washington the week before Halloween. Snickers Bars were most popular in the state of New Jersey, Butterfinger reigned supreme in Utah, and Snickers Crisper Bars were the number one candy choice for Californians during the same week.

Halloween trick or treat
Credit: Comstock

And while children across the country can’t wait to sink their teeth into a mountain of sweets on Halloween, Ibotta found that parents in some states were preparing for the inevitable dentist visit. Vermont, Maine, Arkansas, New York, and Maryland led the country in average sales of oral care products the week before Halloween in 2015 and 2016, as parents stocked up on toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss. Delaware, West Virginia, and Wyoming were at the bottom of that ranking.

¹To calculate the Trick-or-Treat Index, Zillow uses the Zillow Home Value Index, single-family home density, and the share of the population under 10 years old in cities with a population of at least 500,000. This data is combined to reveal the cities where trick-or-treaters can get the best candy in the least amount of time.