Halloween candy, costumes, and party prep are worth billions
Temperatures might drop in the fall, but that doesn’t stop Halloween from being one of the hottest retail holidays of the year. Total Halloween spending is growing by 12% year over year, and shoppers are spending an average of $82.93 for the holiday—additionally, more than half of the US population, amounting to some 171 million Americans, is expected to celebrate Halloween this year.
Shoppers are also expected to spend more than $8.4 billion on all things Halloween, including costumes, candy, decorations, and party preparations—which is why some projections name Halloween as the second most profitable retail holiday, right behind Christmas. Halloween’s popularity has increased over time, domestically and abroad, and its growing appeal and profitability could be linked to spending by so-called “kidults” adults that are embracing their inner child by purchasing costumes and high-end decorations, like fog machines.
The chocolate economy: cocoa beans might as well be cash
More chocolate is sold for Halloween than any other holiday, with 90 million pounds of chocolate candies sold during the week preceding All Hallows’ Eve. There’s a reason that the chocolate industry is worth almost $100 billion and growing: out of the $2 billion spent on Halloween candy each year, $1.2 billion was spent on chocolate. Easter trails Halloween closely, with $1.9 billion spent on candy, and Christmas candy comes next, bringing in $1.4 billion, while Valentine’s Day comes in last place, with $1 billion in candy sales.
Overall, Americans are planning to purchase about 600 million pounds of candy—five times more than the amount of candy bought for Easter. Of course, Halloween’s sugary staple, candy corn, can’t be forgotten—20 million pounds of it are sold each year, and it’s the top selling non-chocolate Halloween candy.
Costumes—they’re not just for kids
Halloween costumes—which were originally worn to ward off spirits—now make up their own industry, with spending expected to reach $3.1 billion this year. According to the NRF, last year, $1.2 billion was spent on adult costumes and $950 million was spent on children’s costumes. Surprisingly, $350 million was spent solely on pet costumes, which is $50 million more than the entire value of the haunted house industry. In fact, 20 million people dressed up their pets last Halloween, and this year the most popular pet costumes are pumpkins and hot dogs.
Halloween is an iconic part of the fall retail season, and constantly increasing its market share. With total Halloween spending growing annually, savvy retailers need to take every opportunity to scare up some sales and rake in the profits.