Friday, October 28, 2016

Boo! its Big Business

The Celts invented Halloween with their Samhain celebration.  Back in old Ireland, the Celts took a few days in the fall to get ready for the coming dark days of winter.  They donned costumes and danced around bonfires with the intention to scare ghosts that might lurk around in longer hours of winter darkness.  The seasonal rite became timeless as year after year worldwide, children and adults alike dress up in all manner of dress to roam the streets and make ghoulish merriment.  About 70% of Americans get into the ‘spirit’ of Halloween.

Image result for pet costume image
The fun of dressing up and taking an alternative persona is a good reason to keep the Halloween tradition.  However, savvy marketing goes a long way toward making Halloween an annual phenomenon.  According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers are persuaded to spend as much as $8 billion on their Halloween celebration.  Costumes account for 36% of spending and candy another 31%.  Decorations and cards make up the balance.
Granted Halloween does not hold a goblin’s candle to the winter holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Together those two holidays draw nearly $400 billion out of American’s pockets.  Yet the red and green wrapped gifts and turkey stuffing cannot stand up to the 754 million pounds of pumpkins consumed for Halloween.  That is about 5.0 pounds of pumpkin per man, woman and child in the U.S., outpacing the 2.2 pounds of turkey each American eats at Thanksgiving and the average 4.0 pounds of chocolate munched between Christmas and New Years Day.
Let’s not overlook the pets at holiday time.  American’s are expected to spend about $350 million on costumes and treats for their pets for the 2016 Halloween week-end.  Apparently, this year our furry friends will be mostly channeling Superman, Batman and Super Girl.  That tops spending on pet toys at around $80 million and another $84 million on pet accessories in the month of December.  

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

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