Friday, October 16, 2015

Young Adults: Halloween's Growing Demographic

While Halloween was once considered to be mainly for children, statistics show that it has become a major consumer holiday, celebrated by plenty of Millenials and young adults. In fact, it is expected that this year, American will spend approximately $6.9 billion on Halloween and everything it entails. James Peltz, in his L.A. Times article, discusses how spending on such festivities has increased drastically over the years.

It is expected that over 157 million Americans will be participating in the festivities this year. Whether that includes purchasing candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters, or carving a pumpkin and wearing a costume, consumers will be spending a lot of money on their night of fun. The average price per consumer will be around $74, dramatically up from the $48 they spent a decade ago.

Spending, while high on Halloween, is still nowhere near the level during holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, etc. However, for some businesses like costume shops and amusement parks, Halloween provides a significant portion of their yearly revenue. Most of the pumpkins grown in California are used for Halloween, thereby providing a reliable source of income for farmers in the San Joaquin Valley.

Some costume stores like Party City and Spirit Halloween open specific stores only for the six weeks preceding the holiday, thereby getting the most bang for their buck. Even though Party City has year-round stores, Halloween is their biggest season, bringing in about 25% of their annual sales. Even "Knott's Scary Farm" and Six Flags' "Fright Fest" have been known to encompass 15% of the total number of visitors to each amusement park in a given year. American consumers spend over $2 billion in candy alone per year. Generally, Halloween has become very profitable for an array of different kinds of businesses.

Even while consumers reuse decorations and costumes purchased in past years, they can't avoid spending on perishable items like food, candy, and fresh pumpkins, Research has even found that as involvement in social media has grown, so too have holiday-related costs. People share costume ideas via Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, alerting friends to sales at certain stores. Even more so, young adults, especially Millennials, tend to participate as a group, purchasing matching costumes and attending themed parties, all of which can be shared around the world by social media.

Peltz sees that nationwide spending on the festivities has doubled in the past 10 years. He believes that it is quite likely due to the technological era in which we live. As new devices and new movies/television shows enter our world, we have so much more to use in the celebration. Sure, kids are still participating in the holiday, but Peltz shows that Millennials make up the largest proportion of participants, and he believes that this trend will continue to hold true for many years to come.

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