Halloween Marketing History

Halloween retail spending will be $9 billion in 2018 according to the National Retail Federation’s survey. That’s a little less than the 2017 record of $9.1 billion.

The History

Slightly fewer than 175 million are expected to celebrate Halloween this year.

One reason is that Halloween is such an affordable holiday. In comparison, it doesn’t cost as much as Christmas or Thanksgiving but still a lot of fun.

Shoppers are willing to spend money on something if it provides a lot of value. Halloween does that. They will spend a record $86.79 per person.

Trick-or-Treating

Dating as far back as the ancient pagan Celtic festival called Samhain–in which the end of harvest coincided with the opening of a liminal window into the spirit world–October 31st has always been an amalgamated swirl of sweets and the supernatural.

It wasn’t until 1934 that guising became known as trick-of-treating. The popularity of trick-or-treating briefly stalled during World War II due to sugar rationing, but by 1948, it was a common enough phenomenon that Jack Benny was doing jokes about it on his popular radio show, and by 1951, Charles Schultz was drawing the Peanuts gang wandering door-to-door wearing ghost sheets and witches’ hats.

Halloween was a thing people knew about, but before the 1950s, trick-or-treating simply wasn’t a part of most people’s Halloween celebrations. When the diminutive ghouls and ghosts did start showing up on people’s doorsteps, though, only sweets would placate them. Otherwise, you got egged , TP-ed, or worse.

Hannah Verret
Hannah Verret is a Content Developer at Crisp Marketing in Memphis, TN. Hannah has been working in content creation throughout her entire adult career. When Hannah isn't writing or organizing social media posts, she's spending her time reading and loving on her many pets.

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