Americans To Spend $10.6 Billion In Halloween Goodies To Deal With Increased Prices In 2022

This Halloween, Expect An Increase In Candy Prices, Halloween Decor, Costumes, and Pumpkins, Due To Inflation, Supply Chain Disruptions

This ain’t a trick. Halloween candy costs will continue to rise in 2022, thanks to inflation and supply chain disruptions. Fortunately, the holiday outlook isn’t too ghoulish, according to the National Retail Federation. The NRF reports that Americans will spend a record amount on costumes, decorations, and spooky items this year. In fact, according to NRF estimates, total spending is expected to hit $10.6 billion, an increase of 5%, or $500 million, over last year. That’s up $2 billion, or 20%, over the $8.8 billion spent on Halloween in 2019 — the last trick-or-treat before the COVID-19 pandemic!

While consumers are set to celebrate the entry into the fall and festive season with all the bells and whistles, is the supply chain poised and ready? We look at some trends spooking consumers and business owners alike this Halloween.

Halloween Market & Pricing Trends To Expect In 2022

1. Candy Prices Surge, But Americans Expected To Splurge

Candy prices are surging as we get closer to Halloween. Americans will spend $3.1 billion on candy this Halloween. But thanks to soaring inflation, candy, like pretty much everything else these days — is more expensive. According to a study by Axios, prices of Snickers and Resse’s have increased by 14% and 13%, respectively, from 2021.

According to reports, the price of candy and chewing gum rose 13.1% year-over-year in September, the highest increase on record. To put that in context: It once took nine years, from December 1997 to December 2006, for candy and chewing gum prices to increase by that amount.

While inflation plays a role in price increases, supply chain disruptions are equally accountable. For instance, sugar and sugar substitutes were in short supply due to hurricanes across the globe. The CPI index for sugar and sugar substitutes has risen by 17.1% since last year. As a result, sugar costs increased significantly, contributing to expensive candy.

Hershey’s, the famous candy brand, shared that supply chain disruptions have led to the brand prioritizing packaging over Halloween this year. However, the brand has also manufactured more candy this season than in previous years.

According to an NRF report, the average household says it’s planning to spend nearly $30 on Halloween candy. But with costs rising, prices for Halloween candy could be closer to $35 this year. While that’s only $5 more than the average American candy budget, costs add up over a while, making it a significant amount annually per household.

2. All Things Halloween — Spending On Halloween Costumes and Decor To Increase Despite Inflation

Despite tighter budgets due to inflation, Halloween is going to be a big event this year, according to NRF reports, with Americans splurging on all things spooky. 57% of Americans surveyed said that inflation is affecting their Halloween spending behavior. But despite these claims, Americans are ready to spend a little extra on Halloween.

The NRF survey predicts that spending on costumes may reach $3.6 billion in 2022. Spending on adult costumes may go up to $1.7 billion this year, a solid $200 million more than in 2021!

Over one-third of the people surveyed said they plan to spend more than they can afford for Halloween this year. Gen Z (18–24-year-olds) or parents with young children admit that they are likely to overspend for the spooky festival.

3. Pumpkin Supply To Be Normal, Decrease In Pumpkin Supply From 2021 To Be Expected

The pumpkin or fall season goes from September through November across the US. Everything from Pumpkin spice lattes and seasonings to Jack O’Lanterns and Pumpkin soups is in trend, forming the flavor of autumn.

Farmers plant more and more pumpkins each year. In fact, USDA statistics indicate that farmers in Illinois (the top pumpkin-growing state in the U.S.) planted more than 10,900 acres of pumpkins in 2019. More than 50,000 acres of pumpkins were planted across all states in the U.S. that year.

Now, in 2022, Finder estimates that 44% of Americans plan to buy a pumpkin for home decor this Halloween. While this hasn’t changed significantly from 2021, what has risen is the price of a pumpkin.

Pumpkin prices are the highest they’ve been in several years this season. The average pumpkin cost is $5.40, up from $4.83 in 2021 — roughly a 12% increase. Americans are projected to spend approximately $804 million on pumpkins in 2022. This is an increase of about $95 million (13%) from the $709 million just a year ago.

4. Reefer Rates Increase In Response To Hurricane Ian and Inflation

When it comes to transporting pumpkins to the end consumers, reefers are key. Pumpkins must be treated and prepared for travel before they can become spooky Jack O’Lanterns. One of the reasons for the rise in prices so close to Halloween may be attributed to Hurricane Ian.

After Hurricane Ian, outbound spot rates from Florida increased $0.07/mile to an average of $1.29/mile last week. Florida’s outbound load posts were up by 5%, following a 24% gain in the week prior, as shippers rushed to shift loads before the hurricane made landfall. Inbound load posts increased by 22% w/w.

In the hardest-hit freight market in Lakeland, inbound load posts increased by 27% last week, with most of that volume coming from Atlanta — loads moved on that lane were up by 3% w/w. In contrast, spot rates increased to $3.33/mile, $0.18/mile higher than the average for September but more than $1.00/mile lower than the previous year.

Reefer load posts increased by 10% but remained down by 41% y/y and 13% compared to 2020 levels at the start of October. Like dry van, load posts had averaged over 700,000/week since June 2020, almost double the pre-pandemic average going back to 2016. Carrier equipment posts at their highest levels in the previous six years and 3% higher than in 2019 when capacity was very loose. As a result, the reefer load-to-truck (LTR) increased slightly from 6.06 to 6.61 at the beginning of October.

Overall Outlook this Halloween:

While Americans are eager to return to the festivities and party hard after the pandemic, it’s going to cost them more to have some ghostly fun this year. As the holidays draw near, rising costs of groceries and gas may supersede adding more holiday decorations for families cutting back on unnecessary spending. Meanwhile, younger consumers who turn to platforms like Instagram and TikTok to look for Halloween inspiration are likely to overspend for the ‘gram.



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