Consumers Opt for Treats at Halloween

Oct 03, 2002

The economic picture looks pretty scary at the moment but it shouldn’t deter consumers from shopping for Halloween candy, costumes and other related holiday items. Retailers are expected to do roughly $7 billion in Halloween-related sales this year based on estimates from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

According to the NRF’s Halloween survey, consumers “plan to spend roughly $44 per household this year on Halloween candy, costumes and decorations, mirroring last year when consumers said they would spend $45.”

Shoppers in the 18 – 34 age bracket are projected as the big Halloween spenders this year with an average tab on $67. Families with kids are projected to spend $62 on average.

In addition to candy and costumes, home decorating remains an important element of the Halloween festivities. The NRF says that 50 percent of respondents plan to decorate their homes compared to 55 percent last year.

“Halloween has shifted from a one night or one weekend holiday, into an Autumn seasonal celebration, opening the promotional window for retailers through much of September and October,” said Tom Holliday, President of the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), a division of NRF.

Moderator’s Comment: What tactics can retailers use
to maximize Halloween-related product sales?

Here are some Halloween Merchandising Facts previously
published by M&M/Mars (Masterfoods USA).

Household Purchasing

  • 74% of all households buy Halloween candy

  • Nearly 40% of Halloween candy is bought during the
    first two weeks of October.

  • During the last two weeks of October, 2/3 of consumers
    make most of their Halloween candy purchases.

Cross-channel Purchase Habits

  • Consumers most often purchase in mass and grocery for
    their Halloween candy needs.

  • They spend the most in mass merchandisers.

  • The grocery channel sells fewer items per buyer on
    average but at a higher price, achieving competitive total sales per shopper.

  • Drug stores and mass merchandisers are the outlets
    shoppers look for the most attractive Halloween candy deals.

High Volume Halloween Candy Buyers

  • Buy an average of 9.3 items and spend $19.91.

  • Purchase over twice as much across channels.

  • Make up 41% of households, yet drive 65% of sales.
    Anderson – Moderator

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