Unmasking 7 consumer insights into Halloween 2023
October 25th, 2023, Hoang Nguyen

Unmasking 7 consumer insights into Halloween 2023

The spookiest time of the year needn’t leave brands and businesses in the shadows. In the approach to Halloween, we’ve uncovered 7 valuable insights into consumer behaviors and mindsets.

Our Halloween 2023 survey was conducted using YouGov Self-serve, a panel-powered, survey-building platform and sheds light into Halloween trends such as how many people intend to dress up in costumes and buy candy, the ways they intend to celebrate Halloween, inflation’s impact on Halloween spending this year and much more.

1. Kids and kids at heart can all celebrate Halloween

59% of US consumers say Halloween can be enjoyed equally by people of all ages

Most people think Halloween is a celebration that knows no age limits but a third (33%) hold that it’s more meant for kids to enjoy than it is for adults. Consumers aged 49 and younger are significantly less likely to think Halloween is a kid's holiday than those aged 65 and over (47%).

Halloween appears to blur the line between child and adult, with plenty of ways to celebrate and appeal for all ages. From family-friendly events to costumes and movies more oriented towards adults to candies enjoyed by all age groups, businesses have a range of opportunities to target a diverse audience.

2. Dressing up for Halloween

A third (32%) of US adults plan to wear a costume this year

The tradition of dressing up for Halloween not only resonates with children but also appears to be popular with a large share of adults. This includes half (51%) of people between the ages of 18 and 34 and 75% of parents who have school-aged children.

The survey also reveals a near even-split in people who will opt for homemade costumes or buy new ready-made ones. The DIY route is popular with 14% of US adults while 12% say they will dress up in a costume they buy online or from a store. Others will dig up a previous year’s costume to wear this Halloween (6%).

3. Trying on Halloween costumes in AR/VR

45% of consumers think AR technology would be useful for trying on Halloween costumes

Last year, Snapchat introduced AR (augmented reality) technology allowing consumers to try and purchase Halloween costumes based on hit franchises such as Minecraft, Harry Potter and The Office.

These types of AR shopping experiences seem to have traction with a large share of people for their potential usefulness, especially when it comes to trying Halloween outfits.

4. Eco-friendly Halloween decorations / costumes

Sustainable Halloween decorations and costumes will be important in the future

There’s a fair amount of eco-consciousness in celebrating Halloween. When asked about how important it is to people that any future Halloween goods are environmentally friendly, 42% said it is very or somewhat important. Only around a quarter (27%) indicated that sustainability would not be an important factor in their future Halloween purchases.

5. Halloween candy

58% of consumers plan to buy candy for Halloween

What types of Halloween candy will people be buying for the spooky season? Chocolate is a clear favorite, with more than four in five candy-buyers (86%) saying they’ll pick up this type of candy.

Other fan favorites among candy-buyers this holiday season include gummies (35%), sour candy (31%), hard candy (31%) and lollipops (13%).

6. Impact of inflation on Halloween spending

21% of consumers say inflation will impact their Halloween spending a lot this year

One key takeaway from the most recent consumer price index report was that the cost of US goods and services isn’t getting worse, although the prices are still considerably higher than consumers have had to shoulder in previous years.

Halloween celebrations may be affected in turn as budget-conscious consumers struggle against high inflation. A fifth (21%) say inflation will impact their Halloween spending “a lot” this year and an additional quarter (25%) say it will affect them at least “a little”.

Consumers who plan to buy candy this year seem particularly sensitive to inflation’s impact, as 26% say current inflation will impact their spending “a lot” and 33% saying it will do so “a little”.

7. Popular Halloween activities

13% of US adults will go trick-or-treating this Halloween

Consumers will be getting into the Halloween spirit in many diverse ways. While many consider trick-or-treating to be one of the most popular Halloween pastimes, watching a horror flick is actually the top Halloween activity for people this year.

Take a look at the top rated shows and movies in the horror genre

Other popular Halloween activities include decorating a living space (24%), attending a Halloween themed party (24%) or public event (15%). Roughly a tenth of people (9%) will test their nerves in a haunted house and 8% say they will stay in and host a small Halloween party.


YouGov polled 1,000 US adults online on October 20th, 2023. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity. The margin of error is 3.1% for the overall sample. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.