Americans to Spend $9 Billion on Halloween Supplies

BY Rachel Cagle
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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.

Celebrants are planning to spend an average of $86.79, up from last year’s $86.13, with more than 175 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities this year.

According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $3.2 billion on costumes (purchased by 68% of Halloween shoppers), $2.7 billion on decorations (74%), $2.6 billion on candy (95%) and $400 million on greeting cards (35%).

Among Halloween celebrants, 70% plan to hand out candy, 50% will decorate their home or yard, 48% will wear costumes, 45% will carve a pumpkin, 32% will throw or attend a party, 30% will take their children trick-​or-​treating, 21% will visit a haunted house and 18% will dress pets in costumes.

Pet costumes continue to gain popularity, with nearly 20% of celebrants planning to dress their pets in costumes this year up from last year’s 16 percent.

Nearly 46% of Party Supply Shoppers are dog owners and 29.8% own cats, according to AudienceSCAN.

One of the biggest trends this year is the growth of spending on pet costumes,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Out of the 31.3 million Americans planning to dress their pets in costumes, millennials (25–34) are most likely to dress up their pets, the highest we have seen in the history of our surveys.”

When looking for inspiration for the perfect costume, 35% of consumers will look online, 29% will look in stores, 19% will ask friends and family, 19% will look to Pinterest and 16% will look to Facebook; 16% will be influenced by pop culture and 15% by YouTube.

Google is the favorite search engine of 92% of Party Supply Shoppers, according to AudienceSCAN. About 57% use search engines to research products they're considering buying, but they're 19% less likely than other adults to go past the first page of results. About 87% of this audience is also active on Facebook, 64.9% have YouTube profiles, 51.9% participate on Instagram and 46.8% are active on Twitter. Nearly 26% of this audience takes action after seeing posts on social media that aren't ads.

For buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 45% of shoppers will visit discount stores and 35% will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store. In addition, 25% will visit department stores, 24% will buy online and 24% in grocery/​supermarket stores.

More than 3.8 million children plan to dress as their favorite princess character, 2.5 million as their favorite superhero, 2.2 million as Batman characters, 1.9 million as their favorite Star Wars characters, and another 1.9 million will dress as a witch.

Halloween continues to be popular for adults as well, with half of celebrants (48%) planning to dress in costume this year. More than 7.2 million adults plan to dress as a witch, 2.5 million as a vampire, 2.1 million as a zombie, 1.9 million as a pirate, 1.3 million as their favorite Avengers characters such as Iron Man or Black Panther.

Pet lovers will also be dressing up their cat or dog for Halloween. Eleven percent of pet lovers will dress their animal in a pumpkin costume, while 7% will dress their cat or dog as a hot dog, 5% as a bumble bee and 3% as the devil.

Digital advertisements are a great way to reach Party Supply Shoppers. Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, 65.5% of this audience took action after seeing an ad on a daily deals site, such as Groupon or LivingSocial, and 63.4% reacted to email ads. They're also 54% more likely than other adults to take action after hearing an ad on the radio, both on-​the-​air and online. TV commercials also inspired 75.7% of this audience to take action last year.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.