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5 min read

Scary Statistics – How Brits Spend More Than £400 Million on Halloween

Halloween is almost upon us. That period where many of us don costumes, engage in pranks, and – in short – try to give each other a good scare. Whether or not you plan to do anything this year, one question remains: Will it also be a frightening time for your wallet?

Halloween illustration demonstrating Brits' spending during this holiday period

In 2017, market research firm Mintel revealed that Britons spent around £400 million on Halloween. The company also predicted five percent growth on spending for the following year – and there is no reason to believe this trend will decline soon.

Who spends the most on Halloween?

If you live in the North East, North West, or East Midlands, you’re more likely than most to participate in Halloween. Mintel’s research revealed that around 56% of people there were celebrating the occasion.

Of those who got in the Halloween spirit, around 25% spent up to £25 on the event. However, approximately 17% of people really wanted to embrace the festival – allocating up to £50 on items such as costumes, candy, and food.

With such costs involved, perhaps it’s no surprise that many wanted to give the festivities a miss. While parts of the north embraced Halloween, around 55% of residents in the South East and East Anglia chose to make other plans.

How is money spent on Halloween?

£400 million is a huge sum and those browsing the shops are almost spoilt for choice when it comes to Halloween merchandise. However, this figure was largely split across the following categories:


Around 40% of individuals spent their cash on confectionery, chocolate, and sweet Halloween candies. This suggests the recent tradition of ‘trick or treat’ is alive and well. Presumably, many of these purchasers were getting ready to welcome revelers on their doorstep – or participate in the practice themselves.

Or we can assume most people celebrating Halloween just have a sweet tooth.


When one tradition rises, another seems to fall. Less than 20% of people purchased a pumpkin – suggesting that the old family activity of carving a ghoulish image no longer appeals. Still, as well as having a scary nightlight, there are a range of interesting recipes you can do with the leftovers. We’d recommend taking a look at the BBC Good Food website for inspiration.


Similar to pumpkins, the trend of dressing up as Dracula and hitting the streets seems to be on the decline – with just 15% of people purchasing a costume.

This could be down to consumers being thrifty and recycling old outfits. Alternatively, Halloween offers almost unlimited source material. From ghosts, to werewolves, to the latest cinematic horror, crafty individuals can probably create something decent without breaking the bank.


Decorations were another area for spending but not an altogether popular one. While our American cousins are renowned for turning their homes into monster-filled lairs, it seems this trend hasn’t entirely caught here yet – with 14% budgeting for the right spooky scenery.

Food and Drink

Although we can assume most people celebrate Halloween by hitting the streets searching for candy, more than 10% of people spent their cash on food and drink. Whether picking out special party dishes or just interesting nibbles, Halloween for these people is likely a more home-based affair.

Further reading