9th largest consumer spending event of the year //

Halloween brings out the kid in all of us with an opportunity to play dress up and indulge in sweet treats. While the ongoing pandemic will certainly affect people’s plans for trick or treating and large gatherings this year, you can bet consumers will still don costumes and hang spooky decor to get in the spirit of things. Halloween is Sunday, October 31, 2021.

Consumer Insights

The National Retail Foundation (NRF) lists Halloween as #9 on their list of top consumer spending events. Here’s what they learned about consumer buying plans in their 2020 survey.

Where does the money go? Here are the top categories of purchases ranked by planned spending per person in 2020: 1. Costumes   2.  Decorations  3. Candy  4. Greeting Cards.

While fewer consumers may be going to stores, discount stores and specialty Halloween and costume stores still top the list of planned places to shop in 2020.



The NRF’s survey tells us that roughly 6% of consumers begin shopping for Halloween before September, which aligns with the data we are seeing in Google Trends. Once we pass September 1st online demand for Halloween inspiration and supplies steadily grows until it drastically spikes the weekend before and day of.


“What are you going to be?” has to be the most often asked question during the month of October. Here’s what the NRF learned in their 2020 survey when they posed it to their respondents.



  1. Princess 
  2. Spider-Man
  3. Superhero
  4. Ghost
  5. Batman 
  6. Witch
  7. Vampire 
  8. Frozen (Elsa, Anna)
  9. Pumpkin
  10. Cat


  1. Witch
  2. Vampire
  3. Cat
  4. Batman
  5. Ghost
  6. Pirate
  7. Zombie
  8. Nurse
  9. Princess
  10. Doctor / Spider-Man (tie)


  1. Pumpkin
  2. Hot dog
  3. Superhero
  4. Cat
  5. Bumble Bee
  6. Ghost
  7. Dog
  8. Witch
  9. Devil
  10. Bat

Halloween Retail Promotion

Social distancing, safety measures, and a shift to more online shopping is expected to dampen Halloween candy sales in 2020. Manufacturers and retailers are starting promotions earlier and innovating to drive more consumer engagement. 

Mars Wrigley is “going to spend a disproportionate amount of time making sure we have the right range, in the right quantities, available digitally by each banner and retailer that we do business with,” said Tim LeBel, Mars Wrigley Chief Halloween Officer. AdAge also notes that “ [Mars Wrigley] is coming up with contingency plans to try to capture consumer attention, including a virtual Halloween hub with online trick-or-treating, games and ways to purchase candy.”

According to AdAge, Hershey has announced four new products for Halloween, including Reese’s Peanut Butter Franken-Cup, Vampire Milk Chocolate Kisses, Witch’s Brew KitKat, and Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Fangs. The Cookies ‘N’ Creme Fangs, when bitten correctly, create a set of Instagrammable fangs — there are even instructions on the bag. 

Marketing Resources

We’ve curated some Halloween quotes and images to spark ideas as you begin your promotional planning.


Halloween Hashtags

Join the celebration with relevant hashtags. Popular hashtags include: #halloween #happyhalloween #pumpkin #trickortreat #horror #spooky #art #cosplay #makeup #halloweenmakeup #horrormovies #october #halloweencostume #scary #creepy #costume #halloweendecor


Halloween Images

Tricks and treats abound in our curated selection of free photos from Unsplash, below is a sample.

Click below to view and download photos from our full Unsplash Halloween photo collection. Find out more about their free to use license and how to give the photographer credit, not required, but appreciated.

Halloween Quotes

Set a tone of chills and thrills with Halloween quotes and sayings.


“A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality.” —Lucy Van Pelt, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” —William Shakespeare

“On Halloween you get to become anything that you want to be.” —Ava Dellaira

“There is something haunting in the light of the moon.” —Joseph Conrad

“Every day is Halloween isn’t it? For some of us.” —Tim Burton

“I put a spell on you because you’re mine.” —Jay Hawkins

“My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage.” —Aunt Frances, Practical Magic

I’m the ghost with the most, babe.” —Betelgeuse, Beetlejuice

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” —William Shakespeare, Macbeth

“Magic is really very simple. All you’ve got to do is want something and then let yourself have it.” —Aggie Cromwell from Halloweentown

“I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner.”—Evan Peters

“Just because I cannot see it, doesn’t mean I can’t believe it!” —Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas

“Be afraid… be very afraid.” —The Fly

“Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, ‘Never take candy from strangers.’ And then they dressed me up and said, ‘Go beg for it.’ I didn’t know what to do! I’d knock on people’s doors and go, ‘Trick or treat… no thank you.’” —Rita Rudner

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