Trick or Treat: Halloween Spending Strong But Down in 2018

October 1, 2018 Victoria Pallien

holiday halloween spending pumpkin witches hat

Pumpkins, witches and candy. Halloween is an American favorite and an affordable holiday when compared to Christmas and Thanksgiving. Last year saw record highs for Halloween participation and spending, but will 2018 measure up?

How much are consumers spending on Halloween?

In 2017, Americans were estatic about Halloween with 179 million individuals celebrating the holiday. The average spending per buyer racked up to $86.13 and, while not every participant purchased something, the total spending for Halloween in the U.S. reached $9.1 billion.

This year, only 175 million individuals are planning to partake in Halloween activities and spend $86.79 on average, up 66¢ from last year’s average spending. But the total holiday spending for 2018 is only projected to reach $9 billion, falling just short of last year’s record number. The Google Trends history of search volume for “Halloween” peaked in 2015 and decreased the past two years.

But the National Retail Federation’s Halloween spending survey, which has been conducted every year since 2005, still shows a growing trendline for Halloween spending.

halloween spending in US Digital Media Solutions chart NRF annual

What are consumers purchasing for Halloween?

Consumers are planning to spend $3.2 billion on costumes. General favorites are princesses for children, witches for adults and pumpkins for pets. allowe

Consumers are predicted to spend $2.7 billion on decorations, $2.6 billion on candy and $400 million on greeting cards. When it comes to purchasing costumes and decorations, 45% of consumers will go to discount stores, 35% will visit specialty Halloween stores, 25% will go to department stores, 24% will buy online and 24% will shop in grocery stores.

Halloween Digital Media Solutions chart NRF annual where consumers will purchase goods

Of the individuals who plan to participate in Halloween festivities, 70% plan to hand out candy, 50% will decorate their homes or yards, 48% will wear costumes, 45% will carve pumpkins, 32% will throw or attend parties, 30% will take their kids trick-or-treating, 21% will visit a haunted house and 18% will dress pets in costumes.

consumers participate in Halloween activities digital media solutions data from NRF annual halloween spending survey

While this Halloween won’t surpass last year’s epic spending, it will come close. So gear up your marketing campaign, and leverage this favorite holiday to connect with consumers over costumes and chocolate.

Read up on Pumpkin Spice Lattes with Fall Fanaticism: How Pumpkin Spice Lattes Won the Fall Market to get ready for autumn and Halloween.

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Contact Digital Media Solutions today.

About the Author

Victoria Pallien

Victoria Pallien is a Marketing Communications Writer at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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