Halloween shopping trends: Then and now

A decade of change around costumes, pets and Instagram

Consumer shopping habits around the Halloween holiday seem to be in a constant state of change. This year, those celebrating plan to spend an average of $86.27 and NRF dug into our recent Halloween data to see how shopping behavior has evolved over the years. 

Eat, drink and be scary 

Long gone are the days when Halloween was just for kids (or those taking mini-ghosts and ghouls trick-or-treating). In fact, 18- to 24-year-old consumers are the most likely to celebrate Halloween, with nearly nine in 10 planning to do so this year, up from 84 percent a decade ago.  

How these younger consumers are celebrating has shifted as well. While fewer plan to host or attend parties, more are handing out candy, decorating and dressing in costumes. They’re significantly more likely to dress up than their older counterparts and will spend roughly $36 this year on costumes.  


Too cute to spook

Dressing up pets might seem absurd to some, but it’s grown in popularity over the years and is becoming big business. When we first asked the question in 2010, 12 percent planned to dress up their pets; today, it’s nearly two in 10 (17 percent). Likewise, spending on pet costumes continues to increase: This year total planned spending for pet costumes comes in at $490 million, more than double what we saw in 2010. Curious what these cute animals will be dressed as? Top pet costumes this year include pumpkins, hot dogs and superheroes — because every pet is a superhero in their owner’s heart.


Give ‘em pumpkin to talk about

We all know showing up with the best costume will guarantee everyone chats about your supreme creativity. But how will you find the best idea? In this digital age, social media provides endless inspiration, and the number of people relying on these platforms for costume ideas has grown significantly over the years. From YouTube to Pinterest, more and more Halloween celebrants continue to use social media to find the ideal costume.


Looking for more Halloween trends and data? Visit NRF’s Halloween Headquarters for additional insights.

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