June 30, 2021

Planning Your Halloween Ad Strategy? Here’s Data to Help Inform Your Plans

As advertisers prepare for the Halloween holiday, our analytics team is excited to share what we are seeing in terms of list activity for this spooky event.

As advertisers prepare for the Halloween holiday, our analytics team is excited to share what we are seeing in terms of list activity for this spooky event.

A quick recap: Grocery list activity allows advertisers to see what shoppers are adding to their grocery list not only in real-time, but also to view past trends.  By utilizing this 1P data, brands are able to better target and influence the right consumers and increase efficiency and impact of digital campaigns. This approach is called Shopping List Marketing and is the leading way to align brands with consumers and get promoted products on grocery lists and in mobile carts.


Last year, Halloween took the lead as the largest candy sales amongst candy consuming holidays. We also saw Halloween as the peak of candy sales when looking at grocery list building activity. While, as we know, typically Easter is the greatest candy, including chocolate, consumption holiday, Halloween does appear to take the cake when specifically looking at the keyword “candy.” Candy appears on grocery lists at the highest rate in the month of October. As you can see below, “candy” list activity for Halloween are double what we see during the Easter, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day holidays.

Daily Candy Grocery List Transactions
MoM Halloween Candy Grocery List Activity Chart

Consumers most frequently use the terms “Halloween Candy” or “Candy” during the month of October when adding this item to their grocery list. What is also interesting to see is what is being purchased alongside Halloween intended candy.


The following section shows a basket analysis for both of the keywords “Halloween Candy” and “Candy”. This data comes from shopper’s grocery list activity from September 25, 2020 to October 31, 2020.

Halloween Candy Basket Analysis

What we see here is that shoppers who are using the term “Halloween Candy” are also buying for three main occasions: kids’ food, baking, and snacks.

Consumers using the keyword “Halloween Candy” on their grocery list appear to also be grocery shopping for the upcoming week indicating that buying Halloween candy is just an addition to their typical shopping trip. Their main goal when grocery shopping is to purchase the staple snacks and baking goods they typically need while also snagging a few bags of Halloween candy as well.

Shoppers who use the search term “candy”, tend to have different agendas than those who use “Halloween candy”.

Shoppers using the term candy add sweets, items for cookouts, and party foods. Sweets are cookies, marshmallows, donuts, and Oreos. The cookout foods are baked beans, hot dogs, soup, and chili. The last category is party foods such as pop, chips, drinks, snacks, nuts, pretzels, popcorn, and Doritos.

Consumers who use the keyword “candy” appear to be making a specific grocery trip for an upcoming social gathering or event. Their list items are quick and pre-made to be ready for hosting a larger group of people.


Comparing the two search terms, people who tend to add “Halloween candy” seem to be parents who are picking up candy with their groceries whereas consumers who add “candy” to their grocery list appear to be buying event-ready items alongside their candy purchase.

By looking at this small discrepancy, we can understand the nuances of the “Candy” consumer versus the “Halloween candy” consumer. This information allows us to inform our client’s ad campaigns and target more efficiently based on keyword triggers.


Grocery list activity tells us a lot about consumers and their grocery shopping tendencies. Even with a small change in keyword we can learn quite a bit about what the consumer is thinking or planning to do. This helps our clients be incredibly mindful and targeted when reaching their ideal consumer. Find out how you can get your brand on the list and in the consumer’s cart by requesting a demo with one of our subject matter experts.

Harness our exclusive 1P real-time data and drive sales for your brand or client’s brand. Contact us at info@adadapted.com or head over to www.adadapted.com and request a demo!

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