The jack-o’-lantern snack, themed cakes and flavored marshmallows are hitting shelves early this year to get ahead of Halloween
Americans will spend a record $10 billion on Halloween candy, themed cakes and flavored marshmallows this year, and many others will spend millions on costumes, decorations and pet costumes, a holiday survey predicts.
The candy, themed cakes and flavored marshmallows are hitting shelves early this year to get ahead of Halloween, according to a survey of US holiday spending, released on Monday by CardHub.com, a payment data company.
Nine out of 10 retailers will sell Halloween decorations by mid-June, the same time last year when they were most popular, CardHub said. Two out of three are starting to offer price discounts in the weeks before Halloween.
Major consumer favorites, such as Hershey’s, whose pumpkin-flavored Snickers holiday candy is an early hit, are expected to be among the most popular.
Halloween – the most Halloween-celebrated day in the US with 3.9 million people, or 3.3% of the population, participating, according to US Census Bureau data – is a particularly lucrative day for candy makers, says Charles Hunt, a marketing professor at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.
“It’s a natural for a place with a middle-income population,” Hunt said.
“People who have enough means can plan ahead and pay for stuff. If you have to find it in a store, well, odds are you aren’t going to find it at the right price in an adequate timeframe.”
Americans’ Halloween spending is forecast to top $7 billion in 2016, a 9% increase from 2015, said Mark Schwanhausser, vice president of research at CardHub.com.
“The early part of the season is crucial, particularly when it comes to gifting,” Schwanhausser said. “People want to send their loved ones treats in time for Halloween.”
The busy early season is expected to get an additional boost from television. September will see Fox broadcast the first of 15 episodes of its new animated series The Grinch. The animated film is expected to have a strong performance this weekend.
“The Grinch could make for a pretty good after-hours treat,” Schwanhausser said.