While some may say it’s just a bunch of hocus pocus, there’s something darkly magical about spooky season. Halloween is the most fun when it’s all about the scares, and this year promises something truly terrifying: irrational consumers. That’s right—despite record inflation, a record number of adults (69%) are planning to celebrate Halloween in 2022, according to a survey from National Retail Federation (NRF).
A Grave Situation
September’s inflation numbers hit hard, and economists are warning that price pressures could persist for perilously long periods. The cost of most Halloween-centric goods are up, with candy most notably seeing a spike of 13.1%. But American adults, ostensibly in their right minds, aren’t letting that affect their plans. 67% report they are planning to hand out candy, and 47% are planning to dress up.
Total spending for the holiday is projected at $10.4 B, or approximately $100.45 per household. In order to shoulder the soaring prices, many reported starting to stock up on candy and decorations early.
At $3.6 B, costume spending is at the highest it’s been over the last five years, spurred in large part by young adult participation. The top costumes for kids this year is Spider-Man, while leading the pack for adults is the classic (albeit uninspired) witch.
Teenagers Scare the Living Dead Out of Me
Driving numbers higher across the board is Gen Z. Over the last two years, in the face of COVID-19 restrictions, this group opted out of celebrating the season. This year, they’re returning in full force, with 87% reporting they have plans. Interestingly, the number one destination for this group to purchase costumes is specialty Halloween stores (physical stores!) despite getting most of their inspiration online and from social media.
Wrap Up (Tried a Mummy Pun Here But Couldn’t Make it Work)
Despite the grand economic picture, it’s nice to see that people are still carving out a space to have some fun. Just maybe don’t expect any full-size candy bars this year.