Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Nation Needs Some Nation-Building

Yeah, baby!
No wonder haunters don't get no respect. We're not doing our part in terms of Halloween spending!

According to the market researchers at IBISWorld, spending on the best holiday of the year comprised just $6 billion, or 2.6% of total consumer holiday spending. Halloween spending was the smallest percentage of the total, which amounted to some $228 billion. What are we doing people?!

As expected, the evil elves of Christmas spent the most $135 billion, or 60% of the total.

And what did people spend their hard-earned cash on? Costumes represented 36% of the total (Lady Gaga-inspired costumes top the list -- wtf?!), followed by candy at 31%, decorations with 28%, and cards a distant fourth at 5%.

Ed bleeds green
Of course, I don't think the researchers polled any home haunters for their survey, but then again, many of us are cheap so-and-sos and reuse and recycle regularly to keep our spending to a minimum. If there's any "greener" group of people outside of professional tree huggers, I don't know them. When it comes to the environment I'm generally on the side of rape, pillage, and exploitation, but get me building a Halloween prop and I turn all Ed Begley Jr.

While candy sales comprise almost a third of total sales, confectioners actually make 8% of their annual revenues on Halloween, making it the biggest holiday of the year for them (take that, St. Valentine's Day!).

People also waste $300 million a year buying costumes for their pets. Personally I don't understand the whole "pet baby" mentality that considers a dog or cat as a member of the household -- yes, I grew up with dogs, but the were just that, dogs (sorry for not being all sentimental, PETA).

That's about 30% of what we spend on our kids, which came in at $1 billion, but just to make sure we don't let Junior look better than us, we spend $1.2 billion on ourselves. Who says Halloween is a kid's holiday anyway?

Apparently we also like to get our drink on around Halloween, too, as it's the fourth drunkest month of the year, according to the Census Bureau (aren't they supposed to just count how many people are in the country every 10 years? I don't remember any questions on my survey about which month I got most drunk in). The lushes of Christmas beat us out again, coming in a drunken third place behind July (yay, independence!) and November (burp! Thanksgiving).

So, FWIW, here's the ranking of holiday spending in order of percentage of the total:

  • Christmas - 59.2% (Bah! Humbug!)
  • Thanksgiving - 13.4% (Thanksgiving?!?)
  • Valentine's Day - 7.7% (you bunch of saps)
  • Mother's Day - 6.5% (love you, mom!)
  • Easter - 6.1% (otherwise known as Zombie Resurrection Day)
  • Father's Day - 4.5%
  • Halloween - 2.6%

We've got our work cut out for us, haunters. So get out there, prime the pump of the economy, and spend, spend, spend!


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