October 23/Chicago/National Confectioners Association -- “Trick or treat, give me something chocolate to eat.” That is what nearly three-fourths (72%) of Americans are saying this Halloween, according to results from the National Confectioners Association’s new national survey.

Rounding out the list of favorite Halloween goodies is a mix of the classics: candy corn in second position at 12%, followed by gummy candy, chewy candy, hard candy, lollipops, licorice, and gum and mints (totaling about 16%).

“While chocolate prevailed as the top confectionery choice this Halloween, our survey also found that adults still plan to buy a variety of both chocolate and candy for the ghosts and goblins who darken their doorsteps on Halloween evening,” says NCA vice president  of Communications Susan Whiteside.

The national survey also revealed new information on how Americans will purchase and enjoy holiday treats this year, including:

Sharing is caring. Halloween is the top holiday to share chocolate or candy with family, friends, and colleagues — beating out Easter and Valentine’s Day, 62% versus 49% and 50%, respectively.

When it comes to seasonal candy, adults are the gatekeepers. Some 41% of parents say they limit their child’s consumption to a couple of pieces a day until the candy runs out.

Brands and personal taste matter. When purchasing Halloween candy, 64% of Americans say their personal tastes or favorite brands are top factors that have an impact on their selections.

Variety makes the holiday more fun. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers buy a mix of chocolate and non-chocolate candy for Halloween, while 20% buy a mix of different chocolates.

NCA’s survey revealed that adults have an opinion about the right way to eat this perennial Halloween treat. Some 47% believe it is popping the whole piece at once, followed by 43% who believe starting with the narrow white end is best. Only 10% prefer to start with the wider yellow end.

Trick or Treating still rules! Almost three-fourths of respondents said their Halloween household activity includes handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Others spend their holidays escorting or sending their children out into the neighborhood to trick-or-treat (29%); attending a work or school-related party (28%); or attending adult-oriented parties, such as at restaurants, private homes or bars (27 %).

Guess who’s stealing from the candy jar? Eighty-one percent of parents surveyed say that they take candy from their children’s Halloween candy haul for their own enjoyment (with 26% admitting that they sneak treats after the children go to bed or school).

To give or not to give? A divided nation. Americans are almost split between those who let trick-or-treaters pick out their own pieces of candy versus those who hand it to them. Regardless, 65% of homes will allow one or two pieces per child.

Indulge a little, store a little: Some 74% of those surveyed agree that it is okay to indulge on seasonal chocolate or candy while maintaining an overall healthful diet.