Halloween is now considered a global holiday that is celebrated by millions around the world. It happens every October 31st and it marks the start of Allhollowtide, a series of Christian holidays meant to remember the dead, such as loved ones, saints, and martyrs. Although most people consider Halloween as a major US holiday, it did not reach mainstream consciousness in North America until the 1800’s. Today, one of the largest celebrations in the world is held in New York’s Greenwich Village as a Halloween Parade. It features over 50,000 participants in costume and millions of spectators turn up each year to cheer them on throughout Manhattan.
So, how big of a deal is Halloween really? Let’s take a look at statistics from 2015-2021 to start with. A survey done by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics released a survey in September 2021 and one of the results showed participation in Halloween activities in the US from 2015-2021.
2015 started with 64% of people asked said that they were planning on celebrating or participating in Halloween activities that year. As you see in the graph, in 2020, planned participation fell to 58%, with Covid-19 pandemic a likely reason, and in 2021, it started to rise again. It will be interesting to see what 2022 brings!
How Much Money Did People Spend on Halloween in 2021?
Interestingly, 2021 marks the first time ever that per-person spending will top $100 at $102.74. It’s also the first time that total Halloween spending will top $10 Billion. These are two huge milestones which show that Americans are eager to get back out there and resume their lives. The biggest spend goes towards costumes, with an average of $33.59 spent per person. Decorations and candy are the next biggest line items with greeting cards coming in a distant 4th.
When Do People Start Shopping for Halloween?
Most Americans start shopping in September and the first two weeks of October. In fact, under 20% of people do their shopping in the last two weeks leading up to Halloween.
Where to Buy Halloween Decorations and Costumes?
To no one’s surprise, the leading place where people purchase costumes, decorations and candy is discount and party stores. Every year dozens of these places pop up just for the holidays and they sell a wide variety of Halloween items. It’s a one stop shop for the last minute shopper and will likely have whatever it is you’re looking for. Whether it be for adults, children, or their pet(s), costumes are the main items that consumers spend the most money on, with projected Halloween costume expenditure amounting to a total of roughly 3.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. What about online sales? They continue to gain a share of the market, representing 29% of total Halloween purchases in 2021.
Where Do Consumers Look for Halloween Inspiration?
I will admit that I have used Pinterest and the retail stores to get ideas. I am surprised though that Pinterest was not higher on this list.
- Other 3%
- Blogs 3%
- Habit 7%
- Current events 7%
- Twitter 8%
- Print Media 11%
- Pop culture 15%
- Instagram 16%
- Pinterest 18%
- YouTube 19%
- Friends/Family 19%
- Facebook 20%
- Retail Store 26%
- Online search 30%
Halloween on Social Media
Gen Z are the most likely demographic to celebrate Halloween with “Gram-worthy experiences.” For them it is not just about having a good time, but also sharing it on social media. Halloween represents a great opportunity for this and is popular with 18-24 year old’s. While only 20% of them will trick or treat, a higher number will attend a Halloween party, decorate, dress up, and hand out candy.
Share with us your thoughts on this Halloween.