Halloween Spending to Hit All-Time High

Consumer spending on Halloween is expected to hit an all-time high this year, underscoring the strength of the retail rebound.
Halloween pumpkins

Spending on Halloween-related items is predicted to reach $10.14 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. That’s compared to $8.05 billion in 2020, when many consumers were still limiting their visits outside their homes due to COVID-19. After spending more than a year inside, Americans have been eager to make Halloween plans in 2021.

“Americans plan to spend more than ever to make this Halloween a memorable one,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers have implemented a number of measures, such as bringing in Halloween products earlier than normal, to ensure their shelves are stocked with seasonal candy, décor and other items ahead of this important holiday.”

An estimated 65% of Americans will celebrate Halloween or participate in Halloween activities this year, up from 58% in 2020 and nearly on par with 68% in 2019 prior to the pandemic. Households with children are more likely to celebrate Halloween compared to those without––82% compared to 55%. 

Here are the top ways consumers are planning to celebrate:

  • Handing out candy (66%)
  • Decorating their home or yard (52%)
  • Dressing in costumes (46%)
  • Carving a pumpkin (44%) 
  • Hosting or attending a party (25%)

In addition to more consumers celebrating this year, American households also plan to spend more, averaging $102.74 on costumes, candy, decorations and greeting cards. That’s $10 more than consumers planned to spend last year.

Households with children are expected to spend more than twice as much as those without––$149.69 compared to $73.57. What’s different about this year is consumers are shopping earlier, with 45% of shoppers making their purchases in September or earlier. Another 39% plan to shop in the first two weeks of October. Shopping earlier may be a symptom of supply shortages.

“This year in particular, we see an emphasis on Halloween spending from families,” said Phil Rist, Prosper Insights executive vice president of strategy . “Not only are those with children intending to spend more on Halloween-related items like costumes, they are also getting a kick start on their shopping, with more than half planning to start their shopping in September or earlier.”

NRF’s survey queried more than 8,000 consumers about their Halloween shopping plans.