Halloween Candy

The Lempert Report
November 01, 2022

Phil: First up, you know, people are gonna go trick or treating, but it looks like there's some scary additives in Halloween Candy that we should be concerned about. 

Sally: Yes, there, there have been for a long time some additives in our foods that some people have petitioned to have the FDA, you know, take off the list is generally recognized as safe. In particular, Skittles had a controversy recently for one of these additives, which is titanium dioxide. Now, this additive, which is generally recognized as safe, has been studied and has been found to cause some health problems. And then there's, there are some other ones, TBHQ. BHT, and there are synthetic dyes like red number three. Now, as a mom, Phil, I can tell you, that when my kids were smaller, when they were around the preschool age, that I definitely would notice this really big difference. If they had a food with these dyes in it that even more than sugar it would create a hyperactive reaction. 

Phil: Yeah, and you know, it's so important, especially as kids are going out trick or treating that parents are aware of what these ingredients are. And this comes from the Environmental working group, and the ones that you mentioned are really serious. Also Red Dye number three, and you mentioned Skittles. And what's interesting, candy prices for Halloween are up about 13% over a year ago. That comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's the largest ever jump in the price of candy and Skittles and Starburst have the biggest price increases, 35% and 42%. And the lowest price increases are Crunch and Butterfinger bars, and they are only up six to 7%. So clearly what we're seeing is the price of candy this year is a lot more than it was, you know, last year, and it's gonna continue to go up. Also what we found is that there was a survey that was just done by candy store.com. They had over 30,000 of its customers surveyed about the best and the worst Halloween candy. So you wanna take a guess. What's the best Halloween candy? 

Sally: The best? It's gotta be something Chocolate. 

Phil:You're right. Reese's peanut butter cups is number one, Snickers, number two, three, Laughy Taffy. But they have an asterisk here except for banana and grape flavors. Then Baby Ruth, then Kit Kat, and the worst Halloween candy. You wanna take a guess at that? 

Sally: Oh, Mounds. I don't like mounds.

Phil: Oh, really? The mounds isn't even on, on the list. The worst, and I'll start with number 10, going up to number One, bit of honey. Then Good and Plenty. Number nine, I like Good and plenty, of course, I haven't had in a long time. Number eight, licorice. Number seven, smarties. Number six, Tootsie rolls, which I don't understand at all.  I love Tootsie rolls. Five - Nico wafers. Number four, Wax cola bottles. I didn't even know they still made those. Number three, peanut butter kisses. Number two, circus peanuts. Those are those weird tasting little things that look like peanuts, but they're melting your mouth kind of thing. Yeah. And the worst is candy corn. But,what we found is that now, there's somebody by the name of Amy Keller, she's a member of the Spangler Candy family, the company that you know is behind things like dumb dumb lollipops, and she is coming up with a new kind of candy that supposedly would be great for Halloween and the environment. Tell us about that. 

Sally: Yes, Phil, this is great. As you said, her family, they are the ones that make the dum dum lollipops. You know, my kids always get those in the doctor's office and they love them especially mystery flavored. But this is a candy that uses 96% of it is fruits and vegetables, and really, really healthy things in there, like carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkin. All these like really, really highly nutritious super foods. Now, this effort is to keep ugly fruits and vegetables or discarded ones from going into the waist bin and actually being used to make a product. I love this idea. I love this product. I haven't tried it, so I don't know what it tastes like. The only thing that I have to say about it is, is that it's very expensive. And so we've gotta find a way to make, make products like this more affordable. 

Phil: And a lot of that comes with, with volume.  Before we leave Halloween there's a survey that came out and what they found is this year, you know, I mentioned 3 billion for candy will be spent about 10.6 billion for the Halloween holiday. And what they surveyed is the most popular pet Halloween costumes. Now, I find this very odd and very strange. You and and Tony have pets. You have dogs. I hope that neither of you are actually gonna dress up your dogs.  But 10% of the people, dress up their dog as a pumpkin. That's very strange to me. 5% dress up their dogs, their pets, not just dogs. As a hot dog, which is like really strange. 4% as a superhero. And the one that I really am struggling with is that 4% dress up their pets like a cat. 

Sally: Okay.  

Phil: Yeah. How do you dress up, You know, a cat like a cat, I don't get it.  And then 3% dress 'em up as a bumblebee.

Sally: But, you know, that's cute.