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Halloween Grinch says too many "fun treats"

By BYCOOP admin - Posted on 24 October 2014

From the Delta Optimist....

According to Forbes Inc., Halloween is now an $8billion a year industry. I can believe it!


Right around the Labour Day weekend, the end aisle displays of candy start to show up and the dollar store begins to hang their costume displays. If there were a way to produce a variety of pumpkin that would ripen in  August, I am sure we would see those as well.


Halloween candy has certainly changed over the years. The trick or treat menu is for the most part mini chocolate bars that are marketed the first week of September or slightly earlier. What used to be called Halloween candy has now morphed in to an additional product line called “back to school fun treats”. The marketing tries to tell us that these are not chocolate bars at all, but rather, some sort of legitimate food group that can shamelessly make its way in to the kids lunch boxes. The inventor of the back to school fun treat must surely be in the Madison Avenue hall of fame.


Getting us to buy all those chocolate bars for weeks on end is genius. Fun treats are convenient and damned cute and positioning them as a snack item slightly legitimizes the offering when we toss a couple in the lunch bag or offer them as an after school snack. Parents have been sucked in to the massive merchandising efforts of multinational corporations like Nestle and others who recognize an opportunity when they see one. They know that mom and dad are busy and that convenience is king. It may be that we think a couple of fun treats may alleviate the guilt associated with not being able to spend enough quality time with the kids. Who knows? I do know that retailers are making an enormous effort to ensure that we have the opportunity to purchase these things at every turn.


In one casual meander through a local grocer the other day, I was able to find 6 massive end aisle displays of mini chocolate bars. This did not include the 200 square foot floor display of every mini chocolate bar known to man. A fun treat Mecca. 


The convenience of the fun treat only serves to highlight the ingenuity of savvy marketers who can easily persuade us to drop many unneeded calories from sugar in to the lunch box no doubt ensuring additional love and respect from our children. 


I have not been immune to the fun treat explosion. I have, in the past, felt obliged to pick some up in September, convincing myself that they might run out before the big day. Ya right!


Gulling down a few fun treats while watching TV is easy. Why have two when you can have 6. They are so small.


Kids should not be denied the spoils of Halloween over a couple of weeks but kids and parents should not be exposed to this over the top marketing of junk food for such an extended period of time.


I was Talking nutrition and fun treats with a grade 2/3 class on Wednesday and Mrs. Thomson, teacher of the class, had some sage advice for her students. She has told her kids to make sure that Mother Nature puts a snack in their lunch every day. Balance is good. Happy Halloween!


Just picked up my second 90 piece box!

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