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Numerator: 80% of Americans plan to purchase candy for Halloween

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Halloween candy
More than six-in-10 Americans are planning to celebrate Halloween this year in one way or another.

Less than two-thirds of consumers say they will celebrate Halloween this year, down 4% from last year, according to Numerator’s 2023 Q4 2023 Holiday Preview survey, though the majority of respondents are still planning to purchase candy.

In the survey of 4,500 consumers, 61% of consumers are planning to celebrate, compared to 65% in 2022. However, 12% of shoppers are still undecided.

Of the 61% planning to celebrate Halloween, plans include decorating the house (58% of celebrators), handing out candy (56%), trick-or-treating (37%), cooking/baking (27%), attending or hosting a gathering (25%) and attending a public event (23%). Nearly half of intended celebrators say they will purchase decorations (45%) and costumes (45%) for Halloween, followed by food (36%) and alcoholic beverages (17%).

Of the 80% of survey respondents who say they will purchase candy, prices and special promotions are the most important factors. Among candy buyers purchasing for themselves, more than a quarter (27%) say they will opt for more premium brands, 63% for mid-range or popular brands and 20% for value or store brands. When purchasing for trick-or-treaters, 15% say they will opt for more premium brands, 58% for mid-range or popular brands and 31% for value or store brands.

Over half (56%) of shoppers expect to purchase their Halloween supplies from mass retailers like Walmart and Target, 44% plan to purchase from grocery stores and 33% plan to buy from club stores such as Costco and Sam's Club, while only 18% plan to shop at online retailers. 

The vast majority of those surveyed (70%) of Halloween candy buyers say they will purchase variety packs, followed by chocolates (53%) and gummy candies (29%). Just 22% of candy buyers plan to purchase full-sized candy bars to hand out this Halloween.

Overall, three-in-10 shoppers (30%) expect to spend between $26 and $50 on their holiday items, with less than a fifth (18%) planning to spend more than $100.

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