TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2012) - Canadian retailers and farmers are hoping for some healthy trick-or-treating this Hallowe'en as consumers get ready for October 31, and BMO Economics estimates that retail sales for the season will be higher than last year.
"Retailers have enjoyed some growth despite a challenging economy and mixed signals from consumers throughout this year. We expect retail sales for the month of October to be up slightly more than 2 percent from a year ago for a total of $39.5 billion," said Doug Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets.
For candy and snack foods, Canadians spent $356 million in the month of October last year, up $80 million over average monthly sales. Only the month of December was higher for candy and snack foods, topping out at $465 million last year.
According to Statistics Canada, over 3.7 million children in Canada are of prime trick-or-treating age (5 - 14 years old). Many of them will be busy ahead of the big night, carving pumpkins - the estimated value of pumpkins produced in Canada last year was $16.7 million while the marketed value of apple production last year was $160.5 million.
"Harvest time presents a great opportunity to enjoy all the fun surrounding Hallowe'en and show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our local farmers by stocking up on locally grown foods, such as apples, pumpkins and squash," said David Rinneard, National Manager, Agriculture, BMO Bank of Montreal. "A BMO study shows that most Canadians try to buy local products when they shop for groceries and are willing to pay a premium - as much as 19 per cent, to put local food on their kitchen tables."
Mr. Rinneard also encouraged Canadians to consider making locally grown apples part of their Hallowe'en celebrations, especially given that Ontario apple producers have had to manage the fallout from an early spring frost.
Apples, Pumpkins and Squash
- 2,743 hectares - The approximate land area (6,778 acres) on which pumpkins were harvested in Canada in 2011.
- 88 400 tonnes - The amount of pumpkins and squash produced in Canada in 2011.
- 43 310 tonnes - The amount of pumpkins and squash imported to Canada in 2011.
- 1.68 kilograms - The amount of pumpkin and squash available for consumption as food per capita in Canada in 2011.
- 2,239 - The number of farms with pumpkin patches in Canada (according to the 2011 Census of Agriculture).
- 7.23 kg - The amount of fresh apples available for consumption as food per capita in Canada in 2011.
- 390,362 tonnes - The amount of apples grown in Canada in 2011.
About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.