Mars Wrigley exec forecasts 75% of U.S. households will be participating in Halloween this year

Tim Lebel, Mars Wrigley’s Chief Halloween Officer and President of Sales for the U.S., sits down with Yahoo Finance Live to look at the sales estimates for candy and confectionary goods ahead of this year's Halloween, while also examining American household participation in the holiday and the top-selling candy.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Halloween is just three days away, and it's expected to be the biggest celebration in the past few years. That's according to Mars Wrigley's. The candy maker projecting this year's participation is going to jump 11% from just a year ago.

To discuss the outlook for this year's holiday is Tim Lebel. He's Mars Wrigley's chief Halloween officer-- fun title there-- and president of sales for the US. Tim, it's great to see you. So we talked about people expecting to spend about $10.6 billion in total this Halloween. Candy prices up just around 13%. What's been the impact on your business?

TIM LEBEL: Yeah, good afternoon, everyone, and Happy Halloween. I'd start off where you talked about $10.6 billion. Of that, 10.6, $3.2 billion will be confectionary. So we at Mars Wrigley, the authority on Halloween, we're very excited for Halloween 2022. And there's a couple of reasons behind that. One, we had record sellthrough in 2021 and the excitement from our retail partners across the US.

We collaborate with them over a year in advance. And they were very, very excited about the results of '21. And we worked with them every step of the way. We know from the National Retail Federation that 75% of the US households will be participating in Halloween this year. That's up 11% from last year, which is great news. And within that 75%, 93% will celebrate with confectionery. So yeah, we're super excited about Halloween 2022.

DAVE BRIGGS: I bet you are. I love that wall of M&Ms there behind you. Candy inflation is one of the big stories this season. How is inflation impacting the bottom line for you? And is candy flat out recession-proof?

TIM LEBEL: Yeah, so what I would tell you, at Mars Wrigley, the consumer is our boss. And value for money is a critical element in everything we do. So we look to take costs out of the system everywhere we go and the end of our supply chain without compromising our most important principle-- quality. We're not recession-proof by any stretch. We've been impacted by inflation.

But we make sure our portfolio fits every consumer need state. So we have price points from $3, $5, $10, which is a critical price point, all the way up to $30. So Halloween can still be an affordable treat to celebrate my personal favorite season.

SEANA SMITH: It is my favorite season, too. So Tim, real quick, we only have about 20 seconds here. We have so much candy on set. We've got to ask you, we have Snickers, M&Ms. I know you guys have a ton more. What's the top selling candy this year? What's your favorite?

TIM LEBEL: Yeah, so our top sellers are M&Ms and Snickers, two items in the top five. We have the number one variety bag available for sale this year. And my favorite item for Halloween is M&Ms peanut butter. It is the classic--


TIM LEBEL: --and I love it.

SEANA SMITH: I love it, too. I love peanut-- I love peanut M&Ms. I also love the plain M&Ms that we have lots on set here. So I was very excited about that. Tim Lebel, great to have you. Very Happy Halloween. Thanks so much for joining us.

TIM LEBEL: Thank you.