Halloween is billions of dollars worth of ghastly
Thursday, October 31, 2013 3:12 PM
In the ritual of trick-or-treating, U.S. candy makers have discovered countless ways to make money by marketing both sweets and terror, to the tune of over $2.3 billion a year in 2011 alone, Fast Company reports.
Whether you're a kid who loves monsters and gore, or a parent terrified of being egged for running out of caramels (or worse, seeing your child poisoned), U.S. candy makers have always been quick to respond with a candy that is custom-tailored to both your cravings and your anxieties. And why not? For a thousand years, Halloween has been all about eating sugar to assuage our fears.
Dating as far back as the ancient pagan Celtic festival called Samhain -- in which the end of harvest coincided with the opening of a window into the spirit world -- Oct. 31st has always been an amalgamated swirl of sweets and the supernatural.
These ancient Celts would use honey, and later sugar, to preserve their perishable food and prepare the bounty of the summer for the winter ahead. "Humans just instinctively want to prepare their bodies for the winter by eating sweets," says candy expert and historian Beth Kimmerle, meaning we've had this perfect metabolic storm that has lead people to eat more sugar around the end of October.