Thanks to Millennials, these aren’t scary times for Halloween. Last year, a Harris Poll survey found that Millennials are driving Halloween revenue growth, with plans to spend more than any other demo—double what Gen X did. This year, consumers plan to spend a total of $9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Millennials’ continued passion for the holiday, despite their adult status, is helping to boost those numbers. Though some have deemed their enthusiasm “sad,” for the majority of 13-36-year-olds, the horror-themed holiday is a great excuse to be a kid again, and they believe you’re never too old to celebrate Halloween. In fact, their love for the holiday has inspired Freeform to expand their broadcast of scary movies from 13 days to the entire month of October. According to our recent survey on their Halloween plans, not only will they be watching Halloween-themed movies, but a little more than one in three young consumers plan to wear a costume this year—with females and 13-17-year-olds especially likely to dress up. Millennials tell us they plan to spend an average of $67 on costumes alone, and Millennial parents plan to spend even more: three in five Millennial moms plan to dress up their kid(s), and 18-36-year-old parents plan to spend an average of $157 on costumes.
While young consumers may be planning to spend a scary amount of cash to celebrate Halloween, they aren’t necessarily looking to spook. “Easy,” “funny,” and “clever” were the top three words young consumers chose to describe their planned costume this year, while “scary” came in fifth. Getting likes is most likely fueling this trend: more than three in five 13-36-year-olds say they get their Halloween costume and decoration ideas from social media, and close to two in five say because of social media they feel pressure to be clever with their ensemble. Social media may also be sparking their desire to get crafty, with 51% of 13-36-year-olds saying they will make their costume this year instead of buying it. However, for the 49% who plan to buy, retailers are stocking up on what’s trending. For example, Spirit Halloween and Spencer’s are teaming up for licensed Fortnite costumes that will cash in on the gaming phenomenon. Oh, and then there’s also this hauntingly-perfect costume inspired by a Millennial dating phenomenon being sold at Party City.
So, is a video game character (or a dating trend) what young consumers are looking to emulate this year? We asked them, and broke down their top five costume choices by gender and age in the snapshot below to give you insight into what young consumers have planned for Halloween this year:
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