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Sweet News: Halloween Spending Expected To Reach All-Time High

October 6, 2021 by TWN Staff
Illustration from National Retail Federation website.

WASHINGTON — 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 a new survey by the National Retail Federation.

The federation conducts its annual Halloween spending survey in partnership with Prosper Insights & Analytics. 

“Americans plan to spend more than ever to make this Halloween a memorable one,” said the business group’s president and CEO, Matthew Shay, in a written statement announcing the survey results.

“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,” he added.

The survey found 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 took hold. 

In addition, the survey found households with children are much more likely to celebrate Halloween (82%) than those without (55%).

The ways people plan to celebrate Halloween should also come as no surprise.

The survey found handing out candy will be the number one activity associated with the holiday, at 66%, with decorating the home or yard coming in second at 52%, dressing in costumes (46%), carving a pumpkin (44%) and hosting or attending a party (25%).

With more Americans celebrating Halloween this year, average spending is also to be up, the National Retail Federation said.

On average consumers plan to spend $102.74 on costumes, candy, decorations and greeting cards — $10 more than they planned to spend last year, the survey found.

Households with children are estimated to spend more than twice the amount of 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 expected to climb to $3.17 billion, up from last year’s $2.59 billion. 

Total spending on costumes is projected to be the highest it has been since 2017 at $3.32 billion.

This year consumers are also shopping for Halloween items earlier than ever, with 45% telling the data collectors they shopped in September or earlier, and another 39% saying they plan to shop 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 in a written statement. 

“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 starting their shopping in September or earlier.”

And since you no doubt want to know: The survey found 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.

The National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics surveyed 8,061 consumers about their Halloween shopping plans. The survey was conducted September 1-8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

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