US set for biggest ever Halloween spending, including on confectionery lines
Despite ongoing pandemic concerns, US consumer spending on Halloween is set to be higher than ever- including on core confectionery items, with total seasonal spend of $10.14 billion forecast, up from $8.05 billion last year, according to research from the National Retail Federation, writes Neill Barston.
The organisation’s annual survey carried out on its behalf by Prosper Insights & Analytics, analysed celebration plans, and studies revealed that families in particular were keener than ever to mark the occasion in the US.
Its findings follow in the wake of National Confectioners Association studies that showed 93% of millennial parents would be seeking to mark the spooky season, particularly after last year in which many such celebrations were restricted amid the pandemic. However, caution has been urged by health authorities, with the US having the highest death toll from the pandemic in the world, with 693,000 lost to covid since the start of the crisis that began early last year.
“Americans plan to spend more than ever to make this Halloween a memorable one,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers have implemented a number of measures, such as bringing in Halloween products earlier than normal, to ensure their shelves are stocked with seasonal candy, décor and other items ahead of this important holiday.”
An estimated 65 percent of Americans intend to celebrate Halloween or participate in Halloween activities this year, up from 58 percent in 2020 and comparable with 68 percent in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Households with children are much more likely to celebrate Halloween (82 percent) than those without (55 percent).
The top ways consumers are planning to celebrate include handing out candy (66 percent), decorating their home or yard (52 percent), dressing in costumes (46 percent), carving a pumpkin (44 percent) and hosting or attending a party (25 percent).
With more Americans celebrating Halloween this year, average spending is also up. On average consumers plan to spend $102.74 on costumes, candy, decorations and greeting cards — $10 more than they planned to spend last year.
Households with children are estimated to spend more than twice the amount than households without children ($149.69 compared with $73.57) on Halloween items. The number of Americans planning to decorate for Halloween is on par with last year’s spike in interest, with spending on decorations continuing to climb to $3.17 billion, up from last year’s $2.59 billion. Total spending on costumes is the highest it has been since 2017 at $3.32 billion.
This year consumers are shopping for Halloween items earlier than ever, with 45 percent planning to shop in September or earlier and another 39 percent during the first two weeks of October.
“This year in particular, we see an emphasis on Halloween spending from families,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Not only are those with children intending to spend more on Halloween-related items like costumes, they are also getting a kick start on their shopping, with more than half planning to start their shopping in September or earlier.”
Interest in pet costumes remains high with one in five intending to dress their pet up for Halloween this year. Younger adults are more likely to dress their pets in costume, as 28 percent of those aged 18–24 and 30 percent of those aged 25–34 plan to do so.
Notably, more than 1.8 million children plan to dress as Spiderman, more than 1.6 million as their favorite princess, more than 1.2 million as Batman and more than 1.2 million will dress as one of their other favorite superheroes.
Of those planning to dress up for Halloween, nearly 69 percent of adults already know what their costume will be this year. More than 4.6 million adults plan to dress like a witch, more than 1.6 million as a vampire, more than 1.4 million as a ghost, more than 1.1 million as a cat and another 1.1 million as a pirate.