Did You Contribute to the Halloween Economy?

It is worth more than $2 billion annually.

Not really that big in the overall holiday picture, though.

Halloween’s haul was the smallest, accounting for a mere 2.6% of holiday spending.

But for a few industries, October 31 is the night to shine. According to the National Confectioners Association, sweets-makers reap 8% of their annual sales during Halloween, making it candy’s biggest holiday. Costumes, cards and decorations account for the rest.

M. and I bought one bag of mini-Hershey bars—that was our contribution to the Halloween economy. We had one group (two kids) of trick-or-treaters, which is more than we have had for about the last four years.

Our rural road used to have some kids. They all grew up, or their parents moved them into town so they would be more easily able to attend “activities. Or someone got a transfer, and the house is still on the market two years later.

There is one family left with four little kids, but I think that  they are Mennonites, and it is probably against their religion. But I more respect for that position than for those Christians who turn Halloween into non-alcoholic tailgating.

So the party is over, and now it is time for real Samhain.

4 thoughts on “Did You Contribute to the Halloween Economy?

  1. I actually used to work in the Halloween Industry–I was in marketing and product development for the Halloween division of one of the main manufacturer/distributors of holiday crap. Despite the low pay and the typical workplace frustrations, it was a fun job. And I left a legacy–one year some models didn’t show up, so some of my co-workers and I wound up posing with various gory latex appliances spirit-gummed all over us for the product packaging. I still sometimes see faces I recognize (and sometimes myself!) in the Halloween aisle at the drugstore in October.

    Candy aside, most people probably don’t realize that Halloween is a year-round industry. The complete product cycle from development through production and distribution sales all starts at least 14 months or more before a given holiday retail season. In other words, they were already well into the development cycle for Halloween of 2012 a month ago.

  2. A grand total of two groups of trick-or-treaters (totaling five individuals) came a calling at my house. I fondly recall a much more numerous and active trick-or-treating not so many years ago, although in a different town and neighborhood.

    Sometimes I think that there’s a significant element of power-over social control in the campaign against house-to-house Halloween calling. One that runs head-on into the telling economic/consumerist drive to spend money on Halloween goods and events. Maybe this leads some towards more closed off and regulated activities.

    Since I enjoy outdoor car shows sponsored by local car clubs that are held in the parking lot of my local breakfast and burger joint, I don’t feel that car-themed Halloween events are off-holiday or any such. (One thing that I picked up going to a Big 10 school is a keen appreciation of tailgating!) But I suspect that chuch-sponsored Halloween parking lot events might not have all the great foodstufs of an authentic football tailgater…

    We probably should stop considering these days as festive and see them for what they now are–retail opportunities.

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