Halloween as it is celebrated in America is distinctly different from the pagan traditions of Europe that people suggest began the practice of sending children to strangers to beg for treats. Literature from as early as the mid-1700’s begins to identify the pranks and visitations that are part of our modified customs. Halloween isn’t a holiday, but it’s a popular celebration period for all ages and it is a retail success period for several businesses. The seasonal decorations, seasonal flavoring or fragrance of pumpkin spice, costumes, and of course candies and sweets of all types materialize in September (or earlier) and affect everyone’s spending (even in the smallest amounts) before the displays shift fully to the traditional holidays. Adults take to Halloween as much as children because it is the one time of year that they can be disguised and have license to all the temptations of sweet treats that flood the market.
It’s claimed that 8% of specialty confectioners’ and sweet-makers annual revenue is generated for Halloween. Pet owners or pet lovers spend $300 million on pet costumes. Major candy manufacturers get the double win during the season, they get a boost of sales and they get free advertising in the form of candies given to all children permitted to Trick-or-Treat. Don’t think that there are plenty of adults boosting their sales by buying personal favorites in bite-size form to make up for a year of resisting full size candy bar purchases.
For most people it’s no surprise that market analysis of Halloween trends show that more than 85% of people ages 18-24 actively spend and participate in a Halloween function. Now that amount, which averages for every American to be slightly over $70, includes visiting Haunted Houses or participation in Scary or Costume Activities, rent or purchase of costumes, purchase of decor and candy, and purchase of party elements. The involvement with any Halloween activity beyond decorating and candy purchases drops as ages pass the 51-60 range.
Market Research firm IBISWorld forecasts this year’s spending (for Halloween) at a more modest $5.9 billion. It makes sense, there is no exceptional travel requirement for Halloween (unlike Thanksgiving or Christmas-New Year’s). There are plenty of Halloween events in every metropolis, but no Halloween Mecca for celebration – like Times Square in New York City for New Year’s Eve, or wherever family has decided to come to together for Thanksgiving. Most of the venues celebrating Halloween are like the holiday itself; they are homegrown and rooted more to encouraging the fun of childhood.
Company’s conducting business on Monday (this year) have already issued a memo on office or front-of-house dress policy. Without reminding anyone that clown costumes are not suggested for anyone over three-feet tall, many businesses allow their employees to step into the world of the fantastic for this one day. Masks are usually as welcome as customer’s wearing masks, so adult office Halloweens are usually censored or restricted.
Get back to that memo on Halloween celebration in the office or work-place. You may not get away with any overtly offensive or controversial costumes in the office; you can make your dog into a martini, but you send the wrong messages if you dress as something that’s been shaken and not stirred. Enjoy the fun of this misguided Holiday which now represents beginning of the fourth quarter turn on retail annual revenue figures.