No Tricks, Just Treats: Halloween Facts & Figures

Here are some fun-sized pieces of Halloween trivia, plucked from a few industry research resources.


Who do you expect to see on your doorstep this October 31st?  The U.S. Census reports that there are an estimated 36 million potential trick-or-treaters in the United States, and according to a National Retail Federation survey, many of those kids will be dressed as princesses (4.3 million), Spider Man (1.8 million), and witches (1.7 million).   Children aren’t the only ones getting into the holiday spirit – check out the complete costume survey results to also see the top costume picks for adults and pets (like our favorite French Bulldog, Jasper, pictured to the right).

In fact, Mintel’s Holiday Shopping report indicates that $1.8 billion will be spent on Halloween costumes this year, with the average expenditure being $34.96.  Mintel anticipates that total expenditures for Halloween (including costumes, decorations, candy and greeting cards) will be $4.8 billion.

…Give Me Something Good to Eat!

Every trick-or-treater has a favorite candy.  Last year one little boy stood on my doorstop, peered into my candy bowl, and shouted with delight when he discovered we had Skittles in the mix.  When I was a kid I thought nothing was better than a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and at the end of the night my friends and I would dump out our bags to sort our stash and barter for our favorites.

According to the National Confectioners Association, of those households providing treats, the majority (52%) will be passing out chocolate.  When kids are asked about their faves, they say that they prefer homes that give anything made with chocolate (68%), followed by lollipops (9%), gummy candy (7%) and bubble gum or chewing gum (7%).

In their Seasonal Chocolate report, Mintel notes that from 2008-2010 Halloween chocolate sales decreased 2.9%.  Conversely, in 2009 sales of non-chocolate candy – which is more affordable – were up 2.9%.  The chocolate industry shouldn’t worry too much though, as Mintel predicts that Halloween chocolate sales will rebound as the economy improves, with a forecasted growth of 4.8% from 2010-2015.

Whatever your costume or candy preference may be, we hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!

Mintel Group. (2010, June). Holiday Shopping – US – June 2010. Retrieved from Mintel Oxygen database.
Mintel Group. (2010, August). Seasonal Chocolate – US – August 2010. Retrieved from Mintel Oxygen database.
National Confectioners Association. (2009). Fun Facts About Halloween.  Retrieved from
National Retail Federation. (2010, September). 2010 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey: Top Costumes. Retrieved from
U.S. Census. (2010, August 31). Facts for Features – Halloween: Oct. 31, 2010.  Retrieved from