Halloween Trends of 2022: Cash, Costumes, and Cocktails

Halloween 2022 isn’t far away, but there’s still time to execute Halloween marketing and selling strategies. The best way to do this, of course, is to take a look at the data to see what’s driving Halloween spending this year.

A recent Lending Tree survey revealed interesting data about Halloween spending this year, and we’re gonna reference it a lot in this article. But we’ve also included trend reports published and released by Google to help narrow down the most relevant Halloween trends.

Let’s take a look at 2022’s Halloween trends to learn how consumers are spending their cash this year. Hopefully, this should give you some insight into how to make your brand helpful to Halloween shoppers.

Social media and peer pressure determine Halloween spending

Halloween spending this year is heavily influenced by a desire to keep up, show off, and be part of the conversation online. 

Grabbing likes on social media is super important for Halloween shoppers. The Lending Tree Halloween survey showed that 22% of participants are buying Halloween decorations and items so they can post them on their social media. 21% of those surveys said that looking good on social media was their main goal when setting up for Halloween.

A desire to keep up with the Joneses extends to the real world, too. For those who claimed they are overspending for Halloween this year, the most popular reason was that they wanted their decorations to look as good or better than their neighbors. The second most popular answer being that they didn’t want to feel like they missed out. 

Nearly one in ten said they were actually competing in neighborhood Halloween competitions.

This all points to Halloween being a surprisingly competitive holiday, perhaps even more so (or at least, less subtly) than Christmas. 

For brands looking to leverage this competitive element, consider ads and outreach that play up “winning” at Halloween. Really lean on the desire for looking the best, having the spookiest house, or even just handing out the best candy on the block. 

Where is the Halloween budget going?

People are spending more on Halloween this year than last year, independent of inflation (though we’ll get to that in a minute).

The LendingTree survey shows us that between 2021 and 2022, there’s been a 16% increase in folks planning on spending money for Halloween. In fact, over a third of those surveyed admitted they’ll be spending too much money on Halloween this year.

How much are they spending on Halloween? 

Survey says: about $169 per person on average for all demographics and income levels. 

When broken down further, the highest spenders were well-off parents (those making over $100,000) who have kids under 18. Exactly what you’d expect: they have disposable income and the Halloween-loving kids to dispose it on. For that demo, their average spending on Halloween was over $300 per person. 

Millennials led the pack on Halloween spending by generation, which again isn’t a surprise considering at their current age Millennials are the most likely to be well-off parents with children under 18. 

What are Halloween celebrants spending money on?

Candy is the #1 answer, at 70%. It makes perfect sense, of course: unlike decorations or other supplies, you can’t store candy in your garage until next year. It needs to be replaced.

Outdoor decorations were the second target of Halloween dollars, at 39%. Again, this fits with the competitive nature of Halloween, wanting to one-up your neighbors and grab those social media likes. 

The third most popular answer, just behind #2, was “pumpkins or carving supplies.” Basically, a combination of the first two answers. Pumpkins don’t last, like candy, and they function as decorations, too. 

For brands looking to move Halloween-focused products, you’ll need to set your sights on Millennials, parents, and people who aren’t afraid to overspend on the holiday. 

The Halloween costume trends of 2022

Halloween is all about dressing up, right? In 2022, however, costumes have become even more important for Halloween shoppers.

Consumers are buying more Halloween costumes this year

In 2021, when asked if they were going to spend money on a costume for themselves, only 19% answered “yes.” That number has nearly doubled in 2022, to 33%. Costumes for pets saw a similar jump, from 9% in 2021 to 16% in 2022. 

The increase in spending on children’s costumes is much smaller, but still significant: from 20% to 25%. 

Any way you slice it, the costume market is going to see a significant bump in sales this year.

The top Halloween costumes of 2022

While the final numbers aren’t in, Google has shared data in their Fright Geist report on the most popular costume searches leading up to Halloween. 

The #1 most-searched costume idea was “Witch,” a Halloween classic. The timeless nature of the costume, the ease of construction, and the release of Hocus Pocus 2 all no doubt played a part in witches grabbing the top costume spot in 2022. 

Coming in at #2, the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. The film SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME made huge waves in December of 2021, after Halloween. We’re likely seeing a lot of suppressed Spidey excitement that’s been on hold for nearly a year coming out.

The 3rd most popular costume idea, according to Google, is “Dinosaur.” Dinosaurs are always a kid favorite in any medium, but their popularity for 2022 Halloween may be from the release of the popular JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION in June of 2022. 

#4 is simply “any STRANGER THINGS” costume. This is almost certainly a favorite for the adult and teen viewers of the most popular show on Netflix, which released its most recent season in May of 2022. 

Rounding out the top five most popular costumes for 2022 is “Fairy.” That one’s a bit of a stumper, and there don’t appear to be any fairy-related pop-culture boosts. It’s likely that “Fairy” is just a classic costume, especially for younger kids, and may just be a perennial favorite.

Any Halloween products you happen to be selling or advertising that are related to witches, Spider-Man, dinosaurs, Stranger Things, or fairies might draw some extra interest this year. 

The spookily-themed food and drinks of Halloween 2022

Halloween is a time to party. Especially when you’re too old to Trick-or-Treat (though, it’s our opinion no one is too old to Trick-or-Treat). A recent Google Trends report showed which Halloween-themed party foods and cocktails are leading the pack in 2022.

The Food

The top three trending Halloween snacks are:

Dirt Pudding. A disgusting-looking but delicious treat, the recipe for Dirt Pudding calls for Oreos, pudding, Cool Whip, and of course gummy worms. 

Halloween Cinnamon Rolls. This dessert comes in about a dozen different styles and flavors, but this bloody-looking recipe may not be for the faint of heart.

Mummy Dogs. Any other day of the year, you’d call this a “pig in a blanket.” But, Mummy Dogs get their name from thin strips of dough designed to look like the shambling Egyptian legend. 

Each of these is a spin on an old classic, they’re easy to make, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for folks of any age. Halloween-themed snack products should hit a similar note of ease and familiarity. 

The Cocktails

According to that same Google trends report, here are the top three most popular Halloween cocktails for 2022:

Witch’s Brew. 2022 is clearly a banner year for witches. This cocktail calls to mind the varied contents of a witch’s cauldron, containing vodka, lime juice, Raspberry liqueur, Sprite, Silver Cake shimmer, and purple food coloring.

Brain Hemorrhage Shot. A vivid name for a memorable drink. This shot that Drizly calls “deliciously weird” is made from Peach Schnapps, Irish Cream liqueur, and a few drops of Grenadine.

Beetlejuice. A murkily green cocktail you don’t want to ask for three times, the Beetlejuice contains vodka, melon liqueur, raspberry liqueur, blue curacao, sweet and sour mix, and cranberry juice. 

These trending Halloween cocktails have one thing in common: evocative names and unusual colors. Drink brands marketing to ghoulish parties this year would do well to put forward their most eye-catching and evocatively-named libations.

Keeping ahead of marketing trends

To learn more about how to fold these terrifying trends into your Halloween marketing plans, or just to ask us about other upcoming consumer trends, reach out to an expert at Inspira Marketing today.

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