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Dive Brief:

  • The 2022 Halloween season could be more delightful than frightful for retailers. Nearly seven in 10 consumers are planning to celebrate Halloween this year, a survey of more than 8,200 people by Prosper Insights & Analytics and the National Retail Federation found. The NRF predicts that consumers will spend $10.6 billion on Halloween this year, up from $10.1 billion last year.
  • The top ways consumers plan to celebrate Halloween are through candy (67%), outdoor decorations (51%), costumes (47%), pumpkin carving (44%) and attending or hosting a party (28%). The NRF found that one in five consumers plan to dress up their pets in a costume.
  • Spending on costumes, decorations and candy is expected to reach record levels. Costumes will make up the largest category of spending, with kids and adult costumes projected to hit $2.9 billion, the highest total since 2017. Pet spending is also expected to surpass 2021’s record high sales, hitting $710 million.

Dive Insight:

This year’s Halloween could more closely resemble those that occurred before the COVID-19 pandemic, with participation in the holiday finally surpassing 2019 levels. Though total Halloween consumer spending is supposed to rise, the NRF noted that consumers plan to spend $100 on average for Halloween candy, decorations, costumes and cards, slightly down from $103 last year. 

As for where consumers will get inspiration for their Halloween costumes this year, more than a third (36%) will search for ideas online, about a quarter will look within retail stores, and 19% will get inspiration from family and friends, according to the NRF report. The report also said that 70% of adults who plan to dress up for Halloween have already chosen their costumes. And they’ll be shopping early.

Almost half (47%) of consumers plan to shop for Halloween in September or earlier. As to where they’ll shop, 40% of respondents will buy their items at discount stores, 36% will shop with specialty Halloween or costume stores, and 31% will make their Halloween purchases online.

“Halloween is an exciting time for many families, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the number of Americans who plan to celebrate the holiday this year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one.”

Halloween spending started to recover last year, previous research from the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics found. In 2021, consumers spent $10.1 billion on Halloween, up from $8 billion in 2020.

The abnormal Halloween of 2020 was particularly troublesome for retailers like Party City, which rely on the holiday to generate a substantial share of sales. Though supply chain disruptions and the continued coronavirus concerns presented a challenge to retailers in 2021, Halloween shopping rebounded following the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

With the demand for this year’s Halloween predicted to grow, some brands have had to get ready to keep up with consumer demand. In an email to sister publication Food Dive, Hershey noted that the company has more seasonal products available for this year in preparation for the higher demand anticipated this Halloween and holiday season.

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