Higher Prices Haunt Halloween Season; Costumes, Candy More Expensive

October 22, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Financial Services | Retail & E-Commerce | Youth & Gen X

Candy and costume accessories are more expensive this Halloween than last, with costume hair-coloring products showing a dramatic 126% increase over the same period in 2007 and chocolate candy up 4%, according to The Nielsen Company.


Costume hair-coloring products now average $4.42, up $2.46 vs. the same period a year ago. Candy sales average $3.59, up $0.10, while chocolate candy sales average $4.22, up $0.17.

The eight-week period leading up to and including Halloween accounts for nearly 90% of costume hair-coloring annual sales activity and approximately 25% of false eyelash and accessory sales. More of a year-round seller, false nails and nail decorations rack up only 15% of their annual dollar sales during the Halloween season.

Halloween also generates the greatest sales volume of sweets for the entire year. US consumers are expected to purchase more than $1.9 billion in candy this Halloween season, with chocolate candy – the most popular type for Halloween – accounting for $1.2 billion of these sales. Non-chocolate candy will account for nearly $672 million.

More than one-third (35%) of total annual sales of chocolate miniatures take place during the Halloween season, according to Nielsen. Likewise, 36% of non-chocolate miniatures, 25% of lollipops and 18% of bubble gum sales occur during the same time frame.

Consumers tend to wait until the last minute to purchase Halloween candy. From early October to Halloween, weekly candy sales more than double – from $196 million to $436 million, with the most candy sales occurring on October 28. This year, even more people might wait to get the best bargains, Nielsen said.


“For many consumers, the most frightening part of Halloween may be higher prices,” said Tom Pirovano, Nielsen’s director of industry insights. “That said, few parents will deny their children the fun of dressing up and trick-or-treating, so we expect sales to remain strong.”

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