Halloween Provides A Glimpse Into The Top Millennial Trends

Halloween isn’t just a chance to dress up, eat lots of candy, and watch scary movies. It’s a major time for marketers to understand consumers who are expected to spend $8 billion on the holiday this year. Besides tricks and treats, Halloween provides perspective on some of the biggest trends...just take a look at what people are dressing up as and how they get their costume ideas. So in the spirit of Halloween, we spoke to more than 700 Millennials about their Halloween outfits and inspiration, and many of our findings offer insights to further understand this generation.

WaldoThe ‘90s Are All That

It’s no secret that Millennials are nostalgic for the ‘90s, but Halloween highlights just how much they miss this decade and the simpler times that it represents. Many Millennials mentioned that they dressed up/are dressing up as iconic characters from ‘90s TV shows, books, video games, and even board games because these characters and objects are meaningful to them. For example, one Millennial told us that she dressed as Ms. Frizzle from the books and show “The Magic School Bus” because she loved the series growing up and still thinks it’s awesome. Another said he dressed as Chuckie from “Rugrats” because he too enjoyed it as a kid and still does thanks to reruns. Another Millennial said she's being a character from Candy Land, which is particularly relevant with the resurgence of board games. Numerous other young people mentioned that they're dressing as Pokeman, Mario (from Super Mario Bros.), Waldo, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the always popular Disney princesses. As many of these characters are coming back through reboots or the wave of ‘90s nostalgia taking culture by storm, Millennials are very much excited and want to show their enthusiasm for this period.

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “A wedding trend I have noticed is not having a photographer, and just having friends take all the pictures.”—Female, 18, CO

For Millennials, buying coffee is “an emotional experience.” A recent study by custom coffee roaster S&D Coffee & Tea also found that for 18-34-year-olds sustainability can elevate that experience. Though only 22% of Millennials say they know what “sustainability” means when it comes to coffee, 45% said they think highly of coffee brands that sell sustainably sourced products, and 25% said they would go out of their way to get it. But coffee brands are warned not to just slap on a label: “Use of coffee terms as mere labels will render them powerless to sharp-eyed Millennials who are increasingly skeptical of unsupported language.” (MUNCHIES

The body positive movement has empowered teens to embrace the plus-size industry. Purchasing of plus-sized clothing by 13-17-year-girls has nearly doubled over the past four years as more options have been made available by brands, according to an NPD study. But popular plus-size blogger and designer Gabi Gregg says there is still room for the market to grow: “I’m always hunting for styles that are a bit more fashion-forward and trend-driven, but that encompass classic silhouettes. I cannot find them easily at this point.” Forever 21, ASOS, and Eloquii have all expanded to plus-size lines, and Target’s curvy collection Ava + Viv drove the retailer’s plus-size offerings by 30% in 2015.  (Teen Vogue

Millennials are leaving anti-wrinkle creams in the dust, and sending the beauty industry scrambling. The rise of selfies has motivated Millennials’ desire for immediate results from natural or clinical products, driving an increase in the cosmetics category by 13% for 2015. But prestige skin care, which includes products for fighting lines and wrinkles, only grew 3% in 2015, and is no longer appealing to the generation that is embracing a “a beauty-from-the-inside-out approach.” While their younger age is a factor, experts say there is also a shift in attitude, and the new generation is more likely to embrace “who they are”—including lines and gray hair. (WWD,POPSUGAR

Millennial dads are the future of retail, according to a recent report from Mintel. The stereotype that men dislike shopping has led brands to look past them and towards the coveted Millennial mom demographic. (Something we’ve warned against.) It turns out, however, that young dads enjoy shopping with their children. About eight out of 10 Millennial dads surveyed said they prefer to shop with their kids, and 74% said going shopping is an opportunity to bond. They also see it as a chance to pass along lessons to their children: 74% said their kids know the value of a dollar. (Business Insider

MIT students have created a robot chef. Spyce Kitchen, a fully automated restaurant that cooks and prepares food in under five minutes, has won a food technology contest and is currently in place at MIT’s dining hall. The robotic system can run on its own—other than needing ingredients to be restocked by humans—and is able to measure ingredients, monitor food temperature, cook the ingredients, and then serve the meal in a bowl.  Students can order meals like mac and cheese, stir-fry, and jambalaya, via touchscreen or mobile app. (Eater)

Quote of the Day: “There's been a resurgence in the home cook, and that's been my biggest interest. There's increasing amounts of high-quality, interesting produce and recipes to use.”—Male, 29 ,NC

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