Americans will spend a record $10 billion on Halloween candy, decorations and pet costumes
Halloween is back on the schedule this year and we want trick-or-treaters, more decorations and new costumes – for us, the kids and our pets.
Consumers are expected to spend a record $10.14 billion on Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation. That's up from $8.05 billion last year when the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention suggested most avoid trick-or-treating.
The average consumer is expected to spend $102.74 on costumes, candy, decorations and greeting cards, $10 more than last year, according to the NRF's annual survey of 8,061 consumers, conducted Sept. 1-8 by research firm Prosper Insights & Analytics.
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Most of the spending will go to costumes: $3.32 billion, 27% more than last year and the most since consumers spent $3.35 billion in 2017, the NRF says.
Almost as much – $3.17 billion – will be spent on decorations. And $3 billion will be spent on candy.
“Americans plan to spend more than ever to make this Halloween a memorable one,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement.
Two-thirds of Americans (65%) plan to celebrate Halloween this year, compared to 58% in 2020, and just below the 68% who celebrated in 2019, the NRF says.
Households with children are more likely to celebrate Halloween (82%) than those with no children (55%). Homes with children will likely spend more: about $150, compared to $74 spent by those without children.
Favorite ways to celebrate include: handing out candy to trick-or-treaters (66%), decorating the house (52%), wearing costumes (46%), carving a pumpkin (44%), hosting or going to a party (25%).
If you or your kids haven't already picked out a costume – 69% of adults already have – here's what we will likely see plenty of come Halloween: Spider-Man (more than 1.8 million kids plan to be Spidey) and Batman (more than 1.2 million want to be the Dark Knight).
Traditional costumes are favorites for adults: witch (more than 4.6 million), vampire (1.6 million-plus) and ghost (1.4 million-plus), cat (1.1 million) and pirate (1.1 million).
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Costumes aren't just for people, either. About 20% of those surveyed said they plan to dress up their pet for Halloween. Younger adults are more likely to outfit their pets with 28% of those aged 18–24 interested and 30% of those aged 25–34.
Prepping for a big Halloween celebration? Don't wait until the last minute to shop for costumes, decorations or candy. With supply chain issues hitting all types of products, shoppers are snapping up Halloween goodies earlier than before, the survey found, with 45% planning to shop in September, and 39% planning to shop during the first two weeks of October.
Product shortages combined with pent-up demand could mean Halloween merchandise and candy shortfalls, said Nikki Baird, vice president of retail innovation at retail tech company Aptos.
"Retailers tried to roll out Halloween inventory earlier this year, a combination of awareness of consumers moving up their timeline but also a reflection of needing to fill in inventory gaps coming out of back to school," Baird said in a statement. "Throw in that kids under 12 may potentially have access to Covid-19 vaccines by the end of October, and NRF may actually be under-estimating willingness to spend."
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.