Halloween 2022: Consumer Spending to Set a Record Despite Spooky Price Creeps

Halloween is two weeks away! Yes, it’s on a Monday—pretty scary in of itself.

One of the more beloved American holidays, Halloween, and the days leading up to it, lifts up our autumn spirits as people cozy up with pumpkin spice whatever and watch whimsical movies like Hocus Pocus or Casper.

On Halloween, our kids don their innocent and adorable costumes and our friends don their costumes. Everyone celebrates this spooky night whether at a party or trick-or-treating throughout neighborhoods.

For our experts at Commerce Express Inc., Halloween is usually a farewell to the charming part of the fall. November in Minnesota can be a dreary four weeks as Mother Nature plots her impending winter doom onto the Midwest.  

Festivities aside, Halloween also makes its annual mark as the first holiday of our fiscal Quarter 4 and, altogether, is the second-biggest retail holiday in the country.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely aware of what this means for logistics. There’s a lot of pumpkins, candy, and tacky lawn décor to haul across the country.

Let’s see what consumer spending is expected to look like for this year. From costumes to pumpkins, will Halloween 2022 be a trick or treat for profits?

2021 saw record-breaking spending, 2022 is expected to exceed it

Last year, Americans spent more than $10.1 billion on Halloween, smashing the previous year by more than $2 billion and setting an overall yearly record.

Obviously, two years ago was arguably the height of the pandemic in America. Reduced participation in Halloween 2020 was not a surprise and consumer spending took a blow as a result.

However, just like demand for air travel or live events, consumers over the past year have withdrawn from their social distancing shells and, as a whole, are more comfortable, and excited, with returning to holiday celebrations. Clearly, 2021 reflected this sentiment.

And now, for 2022, total Halloween spending is expected to surpass last year’s record by half-a-billion. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that spending could reach $10.6 billion with 69 percent of Americans expected to celebrate the October 31 holiday.

Lots of spending on costumes, candy, and pumpkins expected despite rising prices

With consumers eyeing a return to pre-pandemic behaviors, what are they expected to purchase this Halloween?

Well, expect to see a lot of kids dressing up as Spiderman. The NRF reports some 2.2 million children are planning to channel their spidey senses. Traditional options, like ghosts, princesses, and pirates, are also high on their lists. As for adults, 5.3 million are planning to be witches.

Meanwhile, the NRF’s sweet tooth barometer reveals 67 percent of consumers plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. Additionally, 44 percent of consumers plan to carve pumpkins.

Unfortunately, Halloween-goers will see higher prices this year for both candy and pumpkins. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed average prices for pumpkins were floating at $1.38 (per pound) in early September. So, a ten-pound pumpkin could set you back $14 dollars. Hopefully, your artistic ability is worth such an investment.

As for candy, certain ingredients, such as nuts, sugar, dairy, and cocoa, have jumped over the last couple of years. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 12.7 percent increase in candy prices. Excuse me, I just spit out my hot cocoa.

Candy conglomerates Hershey and Mars have both announced hikes in candy prices due to rising ingredients costs. At the supermarket, you can expect smaller candy bars and shrunk packaging as these companies aim to boost their margins.

Before the pandemic, Medium reported that Americans consumed 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate each year. 25 percent of this chocolate is consumed on Halloween. For our trucker friends, this is about 159,091 full-truckloads of the brown good stuff.

Final Thoughts

The NRF’s report anticipates total spending on Halloween will surpass last year’s record-breaking effort. However, what’s Halloween without a scary story?

With rising prices, some forecast that consumers will pass on spending on products, like costumes, candy, or home décor. While, they add some holiday feng shui, they are also not necessities for everyday life.

At the end of the day, each person is in charge of their pocketbook. Our experts at Commerce Express Inc. look forward to our costume party this year and wish everyone a safe and spooky Halloween!

Contact one of our team members if you have any questions regarding this topic or any others in domestic logistics.

This is an everchanging industry. Stay current on rail and trucking developments with our weekly Road Map Newsletter.

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