For optimal user experience, please upgrade your browser.
Consumer Trends
Trading in Crowns for Capes, Superhero is Top Choice for Halloween
For immediate release
September 26, 2016

Floating Widget

Floating Share Widget

(855) NRF-Press

-Princess Falls to Number Two Spot After 11-year Reign-

WASHINGTON – More children this year than ever before will be celebrating Halloween dressed as their favorite superhero, as princess costumes fall to the number two spot after an 11-year reign, according to NRF’s 2016 Halloween Consumer Top Costumes Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Spending on Halloween costumes is expected to reach $3.1 billion, with 67 percent of Halloween celebrants planning to purchase costumes this year. 

More than three million children will dress as their favorite action or superhero, 2.9 million will dress as their favorite princess and 2.5 million plan to dress as a cat, dog, bunny or other animal. 

Children's Costumes

  1. Action/Superhero
  2. Princess
  3. Animal (Cat, Dog, Lion, Monkey, etc.)
  4. Batman Character
  5. Star Wars Character
  6. Tie: Witch AND DC Superhero (excl. Batman)
  7. Frozen Character (Anna, Elsa, Olaf)
  8. Marvel Superhero (excl. Spiderman)
  9. Zombie
  10. Spiderman

As millennials plan for their party attire for Halloween weekend, more than nine percent will reach for a Batman costume, followed by 6.1 percent opting for witch hats and brooms and five percent planning to dress as an animal. 

Adults 18-34-years-old

  1. Batman Character (Batman, Harley Quinn, The Joker, etc.)
  2. Witch
  3. Animal (Cat, Dog, Bunny, etc.)
  4. Tie: Marvel Superhero (Deadpool, Spiderman, etc.) AND DC Superhero (Wonder Woman, Superman, excl. Batman)
  5. Vampire
  6. Video Game Character
  7. Slasher Movie Villain (Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, etc.)
  8. Pirate
  9. Star Wars Character
  10. Zombie

Halloween isn’t just a holiday for kids and young adults, and this year plenty of adults will be getting in on the action. More than 76 percent of adults have already decided what to dress as this Halloween. While most adults will don a witch or pirate costume, with no surprise, more than four percent of older adults will turn to current events like the presidential election for their costume inspiration.

Adults 35+

  1. Witch
  2. Pirate
  3. Political (Trump, Clinton, etc.)
  4. Vampire
  5. Batman Character (Batman, Catwoman, etc.)
  6. Animal (Cat, Dog, Bunny, etc.)
  7. Tie: DC Superhero (Superman, Wonder Woman, excl. Batman) and Star Wars Character
  8. Tie: Ghost and Zombie
  9. Scary Costume/Mask
  10. Marvel Superhero (Iron Man, Hulk, Spiderman, etc.) 

Pets

Many families want the whole house dressed up on Halloween, including their pets. Sixteen percent of consumers plan to dress their pets in costume this year and 86.7 percent of those consumers already have a plan for their pet’s costumes. Pumpkin, hot dog and bumble bee are at the top of the list again this year. 

  1. Pumpkin
  2. Hot Dog
  3. Bumble Bee
  4. Tie: Lion and Star Wars Character
  5. Devil
  6. Batman Character
  7. Witch
  8. Superman
  9. Action/Superhero
  10. Cat

The survey asked 6,791 consumers about Halloween costume plans. It was conducted September 6-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.ProsperDiscovery.com 

About NRF
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF.com

Halloween Headquarters
Halloween candy corn

Find out how Americans plan to celebrate and which costumes top the list with updated and historical consumer spending surveys.