Trick or treat! Three words that probably would never spend time in the same sentence if not for one famous holiday. Halloween continues to remain a vital promotions calendar period for many brands in North America, and it’s a time of year that signals the beginning of the holiday season, with Thanksgiving coming shortly after, and of course, that mad dash to the Christmas holidays.
But exactly how can brands ensure that they’re capitalizing on Halloween specifically? What do shoppers look for when making purchases, and how does the spirit (or “spirits”, if you want to get spooky) of the season affect shopping behavior?
Which Industries Thrive on Halloween?
- CPG Food and Beverage
- Fashion & Apparel
- On-premise entertainment (amusement parks, movies, etc)
- Charities & Not-For-Profit
- Convenience and Retail (i.e. decorations)
Growth of Halloween
Although Halloween has had its ups and downs over the years, with general consumer interest following cyclical patterns of interest, recently Halloween has seen record participation numbers. Halloween spending overall was $9.1 billion in 2017, a record amount (and up from $8.4 billion the previous year).
In terms of overall participation numbers, the number of Americans participating in events, parties, or trick-or-treating itself is growing, as is the amount each consumers is contributing economically:
Average Spending Per Buyer
179 million (Record)
What Are Shoppers Buying?
Costumes themselves make up the most expensive part of the Halloween shopping list: In 2017, men spent $96 each, compared to $77 each for women.
Candy comes in at second place: the average American will spend $61.80 on candy this year. This is actually a slight decline, which could indicate the evolution of the holiday away from traditional celebrations such as trick-or-treating, and towards more social initiatives such as attending parties and get togethers (especially popular with the Millennial demographic)
Decorations come in third; neighborhood battles for the best Halloween decorations is a trend that never goes away, and the growth of Halloween party’s necessities more effort on interior decorating. The average spend on decorations per consumer ranges is approximately $37.70
Halloween By Generation
Although the most familiar aspects of the holiday are focused around youngsters such as Gen Z, the demographics actually forking out the bucks are older, such as their parents or grandparents. Further, many Halloween activities are becoming more tailored towards adults. Here are the biggest contributing demographics to the overall Halloween economy:
- Millennials: $183 average spend each year
- Gen X: $70 average spend each year
- Baby Boomers: $23 average spend each year
Best Tactics For Building Brands on Halloween
- Buy 1, Get 1 promotions: “Buy candy brand x and receive a free decoration”
- Basket size growth programs: “Buy 3 different flavors of chip brand x to receive a free 4th flavor”
- Innovative reward promotions: “Buy beer brand x and receive a Lyft credit to ride home safely from your Halloween party”
- Tech-powered sweepstakes: “Take a picture of your costume for a chance to win a vacation getaway”
- Co-branded initiatives: “Buy this costume and receive a free box of candy”
- Time-limited promotions: “Submit your receipt and get 50% off when you buy on October 31st”
Does your Halloween marketing need a new bag of tricks? Snipp has years of experience developing calendar-based promotions, and Halloween is no exception; we’ve worked with CPG brands in industries like candy, beverages, and snack foods to drive sales and win consumers. We’d love to chat about how we can help you as well!