It’s predicted that more than 179 million Americans will take part in Halloween festivities this year, up from 171 million last year. Spending is slated to reach a record high dollar amount of $9.1 billion, up from $8.4 billion in 2016.
Halloween has increased in popularity so much that it is beginning to rival holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day in terms of total consumer retail spending. But those two holidays are one day celebrations that don’t entail decorating, expensive fancy costumes for adults and children, theme-parks, haunted activities, Halloween parties, and pets. That puts Autumn/Fall/Halloween on a level just below the Christmas holidays.
Halloween’s depiction as a fun, family-oriented, and community-focused holiday has come a long way. Listed below are 2017 Halloween spending predictions from the National Retail Federation (NRF):
$2.26 billion will be spent on costumes. Children’s costumes will rack up $1.04 billion while adult costumes are expected to reach $1.22 billion (NRF).
$330 million: The expected spend on pet costumes for the 13.8% of those who say they will dress their pet (NRF).
65: Percent who will shop for costumes, spending an average of $66; the average amount spent on candy is expected to be $39 per household.
$27.85: The average a person will spend to buy or make their costumes, down from $28.65 in 2012 (NRF).
$2.08 billion: The total amount expected to be spent on candy (NRF).
$1.96 billion: The total amount expected to be spent on life-size skeletons, fake cob webs, mantle pieces and other festive decorations (NRF).
$360 million: The total amount expected to be spent on greeting cards (NRF).
70: Percentage of consumers who will purchase candy/treats after Halloween is over, as well as the 57 percent who will stock up on Halloween décor. (Hurray for all the budget shoppers!)
Two trends to watch
Allison Zeller of the NRF has identified some shifts in consumer behavior that retailers will want to keep an eye on:
(1) Halloween is no longer just for kids or those with kids
Millennial consumers (ages 18-34) are now the most likely of all adult generations to participate in Halloween. They’re also one of the top spenders on Halloween costumes, spending an average $42.39 compared with $31.03 for all adults.
Nearly three in 10 adults, ages 18-34 (28.4 percent) turn to Pinterest and 23.3 percent turn to YouTube for costume inspiration.
(2)Trick-or-treating isn’t what it used to be
The number of families planning to head out door-to-door for this tradition is up slightly from last year but still not as high as a few years back. 2016 represented the second-lowest reading for trick-or-treating (29.7 percent). This is not due to lack of celebrating, though.
Community events such as parking lot “Trunk-or-Treating” and Halloween festivals are popping up across the country as alternative options. With concerns over food ingredients like sugar, gluten and nuts — and the general fear of taking candy from strangers — it’s not surprising to see parents looking for safer celebrations.
It’s fun to pretend. Halloween gives us the opportunity to be something other than ourselves for a day. If you enjoy the activities associated with Halloween, the money spent to celebrate it comes out of the same entertainment line item of your budget as any other social activity. I participate by giving out treats on Halloween night because I want today’s kids to feel the same excitement and joy I felt on Halloween.