A year after COVID-19 forced many Americans to abandon their typical Halloween plans, data suggests that people are doubling down on Halloween 2021 with their wallets.
In fact, Halloween spending is expected to hit an all-time high of $10.14 billion, according to the National Retail Foundation, with the average person planning to spend $102.74 on costumes, candy, decorations and greeting cards — which is $10 more than they planned to spend last year.
“Americans plan to spend more than ever to make this Halloween a memorable one,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement.
New survey data from CIT Bank and The Harris Poll also suggests that Americans are dropping a lot more money on Halloween in 2021 than they did in 2020.
The 2,075 American adults who answered the survey said they will end up spending an average of $92 on Halloween costumes this year (for self, family and pets) compared with just $62 last year; a 49% jump.
Big spikes in year-over-year spending were also apparent in home decor and candy, where Americans said they will increase their spending by an average of 21% and 10%, respectively.
But the biggest jump in spending from 2020 will come in the form of parties, the Harris Poll data indicated. Americans say they will spend 76% more on get-togethers this year than in 2020. This backs the NRF report, which estimates that 65% of Americans intend to celebrate Halloween or join in Halloween activities this year, which is up from 58% last year and comparable with 68% in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The increased enthusiasm is likely related to the CDC advising against large gatherings last year, while Dr. Anthony Fauci told families to go out and “enjoy” Halloween this year.
The CDC has released tips on how to trick-or-treat and manage the Halloween holiday safely this year amid the pandemic. Those tips include avoiding direct contact with others, staying outdoors and wearing a mask.
There is also some evidence that 2021 candy sales are not only higher than they were last year, but that they have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. According to the National Confectioners Association, sales of chocolate and candy are expected to be 60% higher than they were in 2019.
“Chocolate and candy sales have come roaring back during the 2021 Halloween season as excitement continues to grow and consumers tell us they’re ready to celebrate,” NCA President & CEO John Downs said in a press release. “Which all makes sense, because what would the Halloween season be without chocolate and candy?”
And according to CandyStore.com, which ranks the “best” and “worst” Halloween candies in the U.S. every year based on sales, the most popular Halloween candies in 2021 are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Skittles and M&M’s.