by Leon Scott Baxter
Isn’t Halloween the best? I’ve loved the holiday ever since I was a kid — carving the pumpkins, finding a costume, trick-or-treating. The only part of Halloween that gets my costume in a bunch is the way the candy companies play us for fools.
When you look in your bag after trolling the neighborhood for treats on Halloween night, amid the candy corn and Smarties are those little chocolate bars, Mini-Me versions of Butterfingers and Crunch Bars. Instead of simply letting us enjoy the squares of chocolate and nougat for what they are, the candy companies feel the need to tell us these teeny, individually wrapped pieces (which would be a crime to call “bars”) of chocolate are “Fun Size.” Fun size?! Since when does “fun size” mean “so-small-you-can-barely-taste-it”?
Plop down two candy bars in front of any kid — a regular Wonka Bar-sized hunk of chocolate and one of these fun-sized morsels that would get lost in a plastic film canister. Let him look at the two and then ask, “Which one do you think would be more fun to eat?” You do the math.
Mars and Hershey’s are playing psychological games with us: “If we tell them they’re Fun Size, maybe they won’t notice that they’re small.” Hello! We know they’re small. We accept that they’re small. Some of us even like that they’re small. There’s no need to try to make us believe that small equals fun.
So, candy companies, go ahead and make the chocolate itty-bitty. We’re okay with it. You don’t need to fool us into buying your little candy bars. It’s Halloween. You had us at chocolate.