- An estimated 175 million Americans are gearing up for Halloween festivities this year, and total spending on the holiday is expected to hit $9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Halloween survey. Last year’s survey found similar results, with total spending projected at $9.1 billion.
- Candy is a key driver for the holiday. The survey found that 95% of consumers plan to purchase Halloween candy, with total spending on goodies estimated to reach $2.6 billion. About 70% of people celebrating Halloween plan to hand out candy, and 30% will take their children trick-or-treating.
- “The economy is good and consumer confidence is high, so families are ready to spend on Halloween this year. Retailers are stocking up to supply children, pets and adults with their favorite decorations, candy and costumes for the season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release.
Despite consumer attitudes trending toward healthier snacks and away from sugar, as well as retailers’ efforts to meet those demands, people seem to make exceptions for holiday candy consumption. Attribute it to nostalgia or a higher tolerance of sugar for a special occasion, but holidays including Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween are a huge money maker for candy companies and retailers. Given the continued confidence in the economy, shoppers are not showing any signs of slowing down on their candy spending this year.
Knowing how big candy sales were last year, retailers should have solid plans in place to capitalize on this year’s Halloween crowd — both online and in person. For in-store success, grocers need to get customers through the door, whether through a special Halloween giveaway or a flash sale on costumes and candy. But while brightly colored candy displays and special deals in-store may inspire purchases, some shoppers are turning to online purchasing to find the best deal. One Click Retail even advised candy makers to begin promoting their new candies online in July, citing increased candy sales on Amazon in 2017.
Shoppers are willing to spend money on the holiday this year, but many are still looking for the best possible price. Retailers are already well into Halloween candy selling season, and Walmart, Target, Costco and Amazon seem to be considered the best choice when it comes to getting a good deal. Online retailer Boxed is offering discounted bulk candy at about $15 to $16 per package, and Target is currently promoting sales on Halloween treats and snacks. These aren't just candy, but Halloween-themed Angie's Boomchickapop popcorn and pumpkin spice almonds, among other items.
Last year, there was a major trend toward upscale Halloween offerings from premium candy brands, which resonated well. In addition to continuing those, candy brands have introduced new variations of Halloween favorites for this year — such as glow-in-the-dark M&M packets, Dove Promise pumpkins, Skittles Sweet Heat and Hershey’s Candy Corn. Still, while new products catch a lot of attention, classics such as Whoppers, M&M's, Skittles and Snickers remain the most popular.