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Halloween Spending Statistics, Trends, and Fun Facts (US & UK)

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MuchNeeded
7 January, 2021 • Updated 7 days ago
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Halloween Spending Statistics, Trends, and Fun Facts (US & UK)
Originally started as the Celtic festival known as Samhain, it is one of the most celebrated holidays in the U.S. In 2020, 58% of Americans planned to celebrate Halloween.

Even though it’s 10% less than in 2019 and even though 73% of shoppers celebrated the holiday differently compared to previous years, there’s a big market behind it.

All Hallows Eve or Halloween occurs during the end of the summer harvest and before the beginning of the coming winter months.

With the commercialization of the holiday increasing, it has become one of the largest spending holidays in both the United States with over $8.05 billion being spent and the United Kingdom with almost £500 million spent on Halloween props, food, and clothing. 

Where Do Buyers Gather Halloween Inspiration?

As with any major holiday, the shopping season starts earlier and earlier each year.

While most people like to prepare for their Halloween celebration by looking at magazines, some of them look for inspiration elsewhere. 

Here are the sources where the buyers gather their Halloween inspiration to decorate their home or make holiday-appropriate foods: 

  • 35% of them find inspiration online,
  • 23% of them find inspiration in retail stores,
  • 18% of them gather the inspiration to decorate their home from friends or family, according to National Retail Federation.

How Is Halloween Celebrated?

trick or treat
Halloween is a great time of the year for the candy industry.

With $8.05 billion spent during Halloween in 2020 in the US and with almost £500 million spent in the UK, you may be wondering where all these spending dollars went and what items did those celebrating spend their money on.

The pandemic changed the spending habits of many people and the most-used medium for shopping were e-commerce shops and shopping platforms.

In 2020 in the US, the most was planned to spend on candy.

  • 96% of people celebrating told they plan to spend money on candy.
  • 75% of them planned to spend money on decorations,
  • 65% of them are purchasing costumes or costume materials, and
  • 40% had plans to buy Halloween-themed greeting cards, according to McNutt & Partners

Americans also buy lots of pumpkins to decorate their homes. In 2020, an average price of a pumpkin was $4.18, according to Statista.

 
In the UK, however, the most was planned to spend to dress up during Halloween. 

  • An estimated £510 million was spent on costumes, according to Fairyland Trust.
  • A quarter (25%) of Brits was expected to buy a pumpkin for Halloween in 2020, to a cost of £29.7 million, according to Finder.

 
Brits like to purchase pumpkins as well. The average price for one pumpkin in 2020 in the UK was £1.74, according to Finder.

Halloween Demographics

Halloween Pumpking.
Many age groups are celebrating by carving pumpkins

People from different age groups planned Halloween differently and spent money on various things. Here’s a breakdown of their planned spend in 2020.

  • People aged 25-34 were the ones spending most on costumes, with 88% of them planning to purchase a Halloween costume,
  • The group that spent the least on costumes were people aged 35-44, with only 27% of them doing so.
  • People aged 25-34 were the ones spending most on decorations as well, with 87% of them doing so.
  • The most spent on greeting cards was by people aged 35-44, with 49% of them doing so, according to National Retail Federation.

What Costumes Do Buyers Most Frequently Purchase?

Darth Vader costume.
Fictional characters are one of the favorite options when it comes to picking a costume.

The most popular purchases on Halloween are costumes, and the choices to make are as diverse as the population that wears them. So, what were the most popular costume choices in recent years? In the United States in 2020, the top costume choices for children included: 

  • Princess
  • Spiderman
  • Superhero
  • Ghost
  • Batman

The top costumes for adults were: 

  • Witch
  • Vampire
  • Cat
  • Batman
  • Ghost

How Many Childern Are Wearing Their Costumes?

The Halloween seasons is popular for any age category of the population. When breaking down costume purchases by the percentage of the demographics wearing them it was shown that: 

  • 70% of adults who planned to dress knew what their costume will be in 2020.
  • More than 2.7 million children plan to dress as their favorite princess character,
  • More than 1.8 million as Spiderman,
  • More than 1.6 million as their favorite superhero,
  • More than 1.3 million as a ghost, and
  • More than 1.3 million children dressed as Batman, according to National Retail Federation.

Where Are Buyers Purchasing Their Halloween Supplies?

Where people shop to buy for Halloween is unique in the fact that home improvement and home decor stores continue to see gains each year.

These stores do not see as much growth form purchases to other holidays aside from the Christmas shopping season. Surveys and research have shown a very diverse list of popular Halloween supply stores and what percentage of buyers will shop there to get their Halloween purchases.

In 2020, US consumers planned to shop at these top four places: 

  • discount stores 38%,
  • specialty stores 32%,
  • online 29%, and
  • grocery stores 26%, according to Payability.

UK consumers, on the other hand, shifted online during the pandemic, and big traditional retailers set up their online stores.

  • Halloween took online share of spend up to over 30 percent in lockdown, according to Retail Gazette.

Halloween Shopping Online

With the convenience and low prices of online shopping, there has been a significant increase in Halloween sales primarily when it comes to children and pet costumes

When it comes to adult costumes, the purchases tend to trend to in-store purchases which is likely due to being able to try on the items before committing to a purchase.

Party supplies have also seen an increase in online shoppers as well though large home decor pieces have not seen as high of an increase possibly due to shipping constraints.

Little Known Facts About Halloween

There are many fun facts associated with the Halloween season and many that most people are already aware such as the origination of jack o’lanterns and the beginnings of trick-or-treating as we now know it.

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about Halloween, here are some facts that might surprise you.

  • You can be fined up to $1000 for selling or using silly string in Hollywood, California due to its use for vandalism on All Hallows Eve, according to NBC.
  • The candy industry lobbied to get Daylight Savings Time pushed into November to allow more daylight and more time for children to get candy on Halloween, according to Business Insider.
  • Halloween is considered the second most commercial holiday in the United States creating one of the best shopping seasons, according to CEL.
  • Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the US, according to Good Housekeeping Magazine.

Conclusion

Since spending increases on everything from Halloween costumes to candy, to decor, it appears that Halloween will continue to top the charts in terms of holiday shopping.

While the Halloween holiday has not seen the increase in online sales that other holiday shopping has in recent years, many buyers will consult online platforms to seek out inspiration for costumes, parties, and decor ideas.

Additionally, as the millennials begin to be some of the biggest spenders in the Halloween market, their increased use of online stores may provide for an increase in online spending in the future.

With over half the population in both the United States and the United Kingdom participating in the Halloween holiday, average spending is expected to increase in the years to come making it a profitable spending holiday for many retailers.

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