Americans to Spend $2.5 Billion on Halloween Candy

Of the total $8.4 billion that the National Retail Federation (NRF) expects U.S. consumers to spend on Halloween celebrations in 2016, about 30% of that will be spent on candy. While $2.5 billion for candy might seem a bit high, it’s less than last year’s estimated $2.6 billion candy bill.

In 2015, the NRF reckoned total spending on Halloween at $6.9 billion, down from $7.4 billion in the previous year. An average U.S. consumer is expected to spend $82.93 on Halloween festivities this year, up from $74.34 last year. More than 71 million Americans are expected to partake in Halloween celebrations this year.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said:

After a long summer, families are excited to welcome the fall season celebrating Halloween. Retailers are preparing for the day by offering a wide variety of options in costumes, decorations and candy, while being aggressive with their promotions to capture the most out of this shopping event.

Here’s how the retailers figure Americans will be spending their money:

  • Costumes: $3.1 billion by 67% of Halloween shoppers
  • Candy: $2.5 billion by 94.3% of shoppers
  • Decorations: $2.4 billion by 70% of shoppers
  • Greeting cards: $390 million by 35.4% of shoppers

Most Halloween shopping won’t begin until the first of October, when 44% of celebrants plan to hit the stores. Nearly 35% started earlier than that and nearly 22% won’t start until the last two weeks of October.

The NRF expects 47% of shoppers to hit discount stores to buy their Halloween items. Some 36% are expected to visit specialty Halloween/costume shops, while 26% will depend on grocery stores, 23% will visit department stores and 22% plan to shop online.

Once the shopping is finished, here is what NRF’s survey showed people plan to do for the holiday:

When it comes to preparation, 71 percent of consumers plan to hand out candy, decorate their home or yard (49 percent), dress in costume (47 percent), carve a pumpkin (46 percent), throw or attend a party (34 percent), take their children trick-or-treating (30 percent), visit a haunted house (21 percent) or dress their pet(s) in costume (16 percent).