Once again, Americans are looking forward to splurging on their favorite candy, costumes and decorations during the Halloween season. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, total spending for Halloween is expected to reach $9 billion, the second highest in the survey’s 14-year history. The figure is relatively the same as last year’s previous record of $9.1 billion.
The U.S. market for chocolate products displayed its recession resiliency, as retail sales increased 3% from 2008 to reach a record $17 billion in 2009, according to a new report by Packaged Facts. The growth was attributed to the 75% of Americans who have purchased chocolate products since 2008 and increases in manufacturer prices, which didn’t discourage budget-conscious households from buying quality chocolate as an affordable indulgence. Packaged Facts forecasts the U.S. chocolate market will exceed $19 billion in 2014. The healthy chocolate trend, featuring “better-for-you”? ingredients such as lavender and blueberry, is expected to fuel the market as a subset of product premiumization.
Candy manufacturers are continuing to find innovative ways to convince consumers to purchase more sweet treats. Last spring I blogged about how wedding planners were using candy buffet stations as a wedding accessory. Now, even powerhouse companies like Mars are selling directly to consumers, via www.mymms.com who want to purchase personalized m&m’s for special celebrations and to businesses who are looking for a unique marketing tool.
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, consumers are expected to spend an average of $56.31 on Halloween this year. Nearly one in three (29.6%) consumers say the state of the U.S. economy will impact their Halloween spending plans. According to analysts, the overriding theme for Americans’ Halloween celebrations this year will be, “How creative can I be, and how little can I spend?'” The survey found consumers plan to spend an average of $20.75 on costumes, which includes children’s and pets’ costumes, $17.99 on candy, $14.54 on decorations and $3.02 on greeting cards.
History repeats itself – especially when it comes to the candy industry. A recent New York Times article noted that many of today’s favorite names in candy – Mars, Tootsie Pops, and Snickers – got their start during the Great Depression.