The economics of Halloween

If your last-minute Liz Truss costume (blonde wig, dark suit, everyone mad at you) fails to turn heads, perhaps you can impress trick-or-treaters with some fun tidbits about the economics of Halloween. Look no further—we’ve got you covered. 

Driving the news: Canadians will spend $1.64 billion on Halloween this year, up 21% from last year but still $730 million short of total spending in 2019 (the last before the pandemic).

  • Costumes account for half of Canadians’ Halloween budget—most of the ready-to-go kits from Spirit Halloween run between $40 and $70 (though for $90 you can get a full Jack Skellington outfit, complete with gloves and bow tie).
  • Candy is the second biggest line item—Canadians will spend more than $400 million on the sweet stuff this month—and Halloween is the most important holiday for the confectionery industry, accounting for 8% of annual sales.
  • And rounding out the list of Halloween expenses: the humble pumpkin. More than 11,000 acres of pumpkin patches in Canada produce $33.2 million of the fruit (not a vegetable!), most of which are carved into jack-o-lanterns. 

Why it matters: All of that spending has helped Halloween supplant Easter as the second-biggest business holiday in Canada.

But when it comes to giving the economy a boost, Christmas remains the undisputed champ of holidays—Canadians are expected to spend around $1,500 per household on yuletide celebrations this year, 17 times more than Halloween.