News

September 23, 2021
Halloween spending increases to near pre-pandemic levels

Consumer spending on Halloween-related items is expected to reach an all-time high of $10.14 billion, up from $8.05 billion in 2020, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Plans to celebrate Halloween are up this year compared with last and are close to pre-pandemic levels.

Halloween jack-o-lanterns

“Americans plan to spend more than ever to make this Halloween a memorable one,” Matthew Shay, president of NRF, 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% of Americans intend to celebrate Halloween or participate in Halloween activities this year, up from 58% in 2020 and comparable with 68% in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Households with children are much more likely to celebrate Halloween (82%) than those without (55%).

Celebrations

The top ways consumers are planning to celebrate include handing out candy (66%), decorating their home or yard (52%), dressing in costumes (46%), carving a pumpkin (44%) and hosting or attending a party (25%).

Spending

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.

Shopping Trends

This year consumers are shopping for Halloween items earlier than ever, with 45% planning to shop in September or earlier and another 39% 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.”

Pets Play a Role

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% of those aged 18–24 and 30% of those aged 25–34 plan to do so.

Popular Costumes

Children

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.

Adult

Of those planning to dress up for Halloween, nearly 69% 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.

Pet

The most popular costumes for pet lovers include a pumpkin (10 percent), hot dog (5 percent), superhero or cat (each tied at 4 percent) and bumblebee (3 percent).

The survey asked 8,061 consumers about Halloween shopping plans. It was conducted September 1-8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points. For more information, visit www.nrf.com.




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