Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Consumer Statistics are a Little Less Scary in 2013

With projected US sales of $7 billion, consumers are spending less on Halloween this year. However, despite declining sales, there are still a host of problems associated with the holiday. In addition to the health impacts associated with candy consumption, one of the scariest parts of Halloween is the tons of non-biodegradable waste generated by wrappers, decorations and costumes.

Halloween is a multi-billion dollar retail event that has more than doubled in the last 7 years from $3.29 billion in 2005 to 8 billion in 2012. Surpassed only by Christmas, Halloween is the second biggest decorating holiday of the year.

According to the National Retail Federation's (NRF) annual Halloween Spending Survey, with the exception of 2009, US consumers have consistently increased their Halloween spending every year since 2005. Last year was no exception, however in 2013, consumers have indicated that they intend to decrease their spend. If this report turns out to be accurate, retailers can expect a total October spend of $7 billion which is $1 billion less than in 2012.

Here are some of the key statistics from the Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey for the period between 2005 and 2013 as indicated in the annual Halloween Spending and Intentions report (conducted by BigInsight research firm for the NRF).

Total Amount Consumers Planned to Spend For the Halloween Holiday Overall

$7.0 billion - 2013
$8.0 billion - 2012
$6.86 billion - 2011
$5.80 billion - 2010
$4.75 billion - 2009
$5.77 billion - 2008
$5.07 billion - 2007
$4.96 billion - 2006
$3.29 billion - 2005

Total Amount Consumers Planned to Spend for Halloween Costumes

$2.6 billion - 2013
$2.87 billion - 2012
$2.52 billion - 2011
$2.05 billion - 2010
$1.75 billion - 2009
$2.10 billion - 2008
$1.82 billion - 2007
$1.81 billion - 2006
$1.15 billion - 2005

Total Amount Consumers Planned to Spend for Halloween Candy

$2.08 billion - 2013
$2.33 billion - 2012
$2.00 billion - 2011
$1.78 billion - 2010
$1.52 billion - 2009
$1.77 billion - 2008
$1.55 billion - 2007
$1.57 billion - 2006
$1.16 billion - 2005

Total Amount Consumers Planned to Spend for Halloween Decorations

1.96 billion - 2013
$2.33 billion - 2012
$1.88 billion - 2011
$1.63 billion - 2010
$1.23 billion - 2009
$1.58 billion - 2008
$1.39 billion - 2007
$1.31 billion - 2006
$0.84 billion - 2005

Total Amount Consumers Planned to Spend for Halloween Greeting Cards

$0.36 billion - 2013
$0.59 billion - 2012
$0.47 billion - 2011
$0.35 billion - 2010
$0.25 billion - 2009
$0.32 billion - 2008
$0.31 billion - 2007
$0.26 billion - 2006
$0.14 billion - 2005

Percentage of Consumers Who Planned to Celebrate Halloween or Participate in Halloween Activities:

65.8% - 2013
71.5% - 2012
68.6% - 2011
63.8% - 2010
62.1% - 2009
64.5% - 2008
58.7% - 2007
63.8% - 2006
52.5% - 2005

The primary problem with candy is the non-biodegradable packaging. There is also the issue of health impacts on the children that consume it. In addition to vast quantities of sugar (a known cause of inflammation), candy also contains dyes, both are linked to behavioral issues in sensitive children.

The two worst Halloween buys for the environment are decorations and costumes. Both are commonly made of plastic that do not break down. Plastics also contain endocrine-disrupting phthalates toxins including Bisphenolic Compounds like BPA.

Another popular item that people buy is pumpkins, however, when consumed or composted,  they have a relatively small environmental footprint.

In 2012, Halloween retail sales reached an all time high of $8 billion nationwide. Year after year Halloween consumer spending has increased. In 2009, as the effects of the recession set in consumers reduced their Halloween purchasing. If the survey results prove accurate, 2013 will be only the second time in 8 years that Halloween spending has declined.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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