In the neon-lit maze of the modern-day grocery store, the temperature is always chilly, strawberries never go out of season, and the Halloween season starts as early as August.
Stroll the seasonal section at an area Giant and see them on the shelves: Spooky Hershey’s Kisses and marshmallow cats. At Safeway, there are bags of Nerds with zombies on them.
While retailers have long displayed holiday offerings well before the season — the phrase “Christmas creep” applies to this phenomenon — experts say the practice is reaching new extremes in an era of intense competition.
“I can say in the past 20 years I’ve never seen Halloween candy...