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Marketers Receive Only Treats This Halloween Season

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What child doesn't love Halloween? For kids, it's the one night every year when they can eat as much candy as they want, stay out late, play tricks on others without getting in trouble, and dress up as their favorite television or movie characters. Often, though, after they grow up, they no longer partake in this festive and beloved event - that is, until recently.

Over the past few years Halloween has transitioned from a holiday enjoyed purely by kids to one that is starting to be taken over by adults. Gone are the days when kids were the only ones to dress up, attend parties, and partake in ghoulish events. And, because adults are increasingly participating in this holiday, marketers have taken notice and have started to offer a plethora of new and exciting products for them to enjoy.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2007 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, nearly 63% of adults will participate in Halloween activities this year, ranging from dressing up to attending a Halloween party. (Just in case you’re curious, the most popular costumes for adults are witches, pirates, and vampires.)



Halloween is expected to generate $5 billion in business this year, an increase of $2.1 billion since 2003. This increase can be tied directly to the holiday’s evolution. Like Christmas, it is no longer celebrated for one day or night only. Instead, it has transformed into a season-long event. In fact, on average each adult will spend nearly $65 on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards.

“Consumers see Halloween as a seasonal celebration to bridge the gap between the end of summer and the winter holidays,” said Tracy Mullin, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation (NRF). “Halloween offers a little something for everyone, and this year people of all ages will be joining in the fun.”

In fact, Halloween now ranks third on the list of occasions most celebrated by adults, surpassed only by New Year’s Eve and the Super Bowl. Moreover, in terms of decorations sold, Halloween ranks only behind Christmas. And to further illustrate the fact that Halloween is no longer a kids-only event, consider this: St. Patrick’s Day, which is the biggest beer-selling holiday, is the only holiday that generates more revenue in bar beer sales than Halloween.

Halloween cards are also a hot commodity. Nearly 31 million cards will be bought and mailed this year. And when it comes to candy, Halloween is the biggest candy-selling holiday of all, surpassing even Christmas as buyers shop for themselves, for trick-or-treaters, and for parties. During this Halloween season the candy industry expects sales in the vicinity of $2.2 billion. Also, because marketers have found that sales for these products increase when they are tied to a season, more and more brands have started to integrate the season’s themes into products’ packaging.

In addition to adults though, a new group has also started to enjoy the holiday’s festivities. Pets have recently become an integral part of the holiday season as stores such as PetCo and PetSmart started offering Halloween costumes and accessories for pets. They have become so popular that 7.4 million households will dress their pets in some form of Halloween attire this season. Moreover, these stores are not only selling costumes, they are throwing Halloween parties as well. Petco has a yearly Halloween party that attracts nearly 14,000 attendants, while PetSmart hosts Howl-O-Ween, an in-store and online costume photo contest.

“Many consumers who own pets think of them as family members,” said Mullin. “Pet owners will go all-out to include dogs, cats, and other critters in Halloween festivities, including trick-or-treating, handing out candy, or even celebrating at a friend or family member’s house.”

So, why the popularity and interest in the season? “Halloween is often a time for consumers to set aside their real concerns to focus on the imaginary,” said Phil Rist, vice president of strategy for BIGresearch. “As news about the economy floods the airwaves, many Americans want to take a break from reality to have a bit of fun.” And fun for consumers translates into big business for marketers.
On the net:National Retail Federation
www.nrf.com

BIGresearch
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Popular tags:

 St. Patrick's Day  holidays  Christmas  New Year's Eve  Super Bowl  parties  Halloween  consumers  executive director  greeting cards


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