Halloween is one of the unsung heroes of holidays. While it doesn’t receive the fanfare of Christmas it has the potential to be a much better time. You get to dress up, play games, eat sweets and watch scary movies. It appears though that people are starting to love Halloween more and more as retail spending continues to show record-high numbers.
In the past Halloween was a holiday that didn’t require much spending. You could cut some holes out of an old white sheet and call yourself a ghost. Halloween has changed with the times though and it is increasingly big business. Halloween is growing in adoption in most countries across the world but the US remains the central market. In 2017 a record 9 billion dollars was spent on Halloween related items and the figures have remained at this level since.
$2.6 billion was spent on candy in America for Halloween purposes last year, with the rest of the spending on decor, costumes, and activities. The reach of Halloween is growing too. Today more people are buying costumes for their pets than ever before, no doubt the Instagram likes are a key driver of this growth. The most popular costumes for pets last year were a pumpkin, a hot dog and a devil.
While Halloween has its history as an ancient Irish pagan ritual it is now clearly an American retail holiday. The world is embracing the holiday more and more with many countries adopting the habits of trick or treating, fancy dress, and scary stories.
It will be interesting to watch the future of Halloween and how future generations embrace it. While it was Millenials who introduced their pets to fancy dress who knows what future generations will decide. Perhaps Halloween will outgrow Christmas in time. Although with the US alone spending more than $720 billion on Christmas last year, it has a long way to go.