Adult grocery shoppers are inching closer to their pre-pandemic Halloween activity and shopping behavior, with a quarter planning to spend more on candy and other treats and a third planning to spend more on costumes and decorations this year, according to “Halloween 2022: Shoppers Reveal Plans to Celebrate and Spend,” based on a September 2, 2022 survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults who are their household’s primary grocery shoppers or share the responsibility and who celebrate Halloween.
Four in 10 plan to greet trick-or-treaters at the door this year, up from three in 10 last year. There are also significant upticks in those who plan to attend or host a Halloween party with friends (24%, up from 17%), wear a costume (37%, up from 30%) and carve pumpkins (47%, up from 36%).
Eighty-five percent of survey respondents plan to purchase candy, 54% plan to buy decorations (61% of those with children) and half plan to buy costumes (71% of those with children).
Among the survey’s findings:
- Nearly half (48%) of U.S. grocery shoppers plan to spend more than $25 on Halloween candy this year ― with more than one in 10 planning to spend over $50. A similar percentage (47%) will spend over $25 on other Halloween-themed edible treats.
- Nearly 90% of those offering treats to trick-or-treaters or at a Halloween party plan to serve up chocolate candy and about 60% will hand out non-chocolate candy. About one-fourth will offer healthier snacks, such as raisins or trail mix — and that number increases to one-third of those with children in the household.
- Nearly half (45%) of candy buyers will make the purchase a week or less before Halloween; 16% will buy their candy within three days of the holiday.
- While nine in 10 grocery shoppers who plan to buy Halloween candy say they’ll purchase mini-sized candy; nearly a third will go large with full-size items in addition to or instead of the smaller items.
- Halloween candy shoppers, especially those with children, are open to trying new items. Half of the respondents (57% of those with kids at home) say they’re likely or very likely to try a new item or brand extension.
- Four in 10 Halloween candy shoppers say they have typically “overbought.”
- The top three factors influencing Halloween candy purchases are price (37% ranked this the most important factor), type of candy (22%) and brand of candy (14%).
- More than half of grocery shoppers perceive mass merchandisers to have the best prices on Halloween candy and plan to shop the channel for candy and other food treats. The second most popular retail channel for Halloween candy and other themed foods is grocery stores.
- Seventy percent of Halloween candy buyers say on-package coupons influence their purchases. Nearly half are influenced by secondary displays.
- When faced with an out-of-stock of their preferred Halloween candy, two-thirds of shoppers say they’d most likely buy a similar candy (in-store or online). But more than one-fifth (22%) would look for their preferred brand elsewhere.