3 ways Generation Z is celebrating Halloween this year

Younger consumers have more plans than any other group
Research Analyst
October 12, 2022
Halloween Trends

Learn more about how consumers are celebrating Halloween 2022.

With Halloween just around the corner, consumers are planning costumes, filling candy bowls and putting up decorations to get ready for the “spook-tacular” holiday. Halloween celebrations are expected to reach pre-pandemic levels as COVID-19 concerns take a backseat this year, driving expected total spending up to record highs. This year, 69% of consumers plan to celebrate the holiday with total spending expected to reach a record $10.6 billion as shoppers plan to spend more than ever on costumes, candy, and decorations.

Young adults ghosted Halloween last year — but they’re back

Although all ages of shoppers plan to participate in Halloween festivities more this year than last, 18- to 24-year-olds have amped up their Halloween celebrations more than any other group.

Prior to the pandemic, younger adults — particularly those aged 18-24 — were among the most likely to celebrate Halloween. However, over the last two years, many in this age group decided to opt out of the holiday as the pandemic put a damper on events like Halloween parties, bar crawls or haunted houses.

Now, with COVID restrictions easing, students back on college campuses and social gatherings becoming more common, younger consumers are celebrating spooky season in full force. Adult costume spending is at its highest in the last five years and young adults are participating in classic Halloween activities like dressing up, visiting haunted houses, and throwing or attending parties more than anyone else.

Tricks, treats and TikToks

Unsurprisingly, this age group gets a good amount of their Halloween inspiration from social media and are significantly more likely than the average consumer to use TikTok and Pinterest as a source of inspiration for Halloween costumes.

Check out NRF’s own Halloween TikTok content here, or see what Sephora, Walmart and Amazon are doing to inspire younger shoppers on the platform.

Although this younger, tech-savvy cohort pulls inspiration from social media more often than other shoppers, they are also more likely than any other age group to get costume inspiration from friends and family or be inspired by a retail store or costume shop.

Browsing in-store and online

They aren’t just going to Halloween stores to browse for inspiration — specialty Halloween and costume stores are 18- to 24-year-olds’ top destination to buy spooky and scary items. They’re also more likely to shop at these types of stores than any other age group.

Of course, this cohort doesn’t limit themselves to one channel or shopping destination. They are also the group most likely to purchase Halloween-related items online.

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