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A Tap on the Glass - Vol. 5 - The Scary Truth of Halloween!

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Halloween 2011 by the Numbers

When I was a kid, in small town USA – Northern Idaho, Halloween was a fun event. Tons of candy and little kids wandering around with masks in the dark up and down the streets while parents sat on the porch smoking and drinking a beer. Hey…it was the 50’s and early 60’s. Even in High School we ran free through the streets. Mr. Dugger, our music teacher had his windows soaped every year and many toilet paperings’ of houses was the standard then. Streets were safe (except for the bullies) and people left their keys in the cars and their doors unlocked. I’m amazed to say that my home town is STILL like that for the most part. Now days Halloween is more than just a holiday of tricks and treats — it also yields some sizable returns for many businesses. Whether you're a manufacturer, retailer or just an overgrown kid, Halloween 2011 is sure to be rewarding. So I dug around for fun and found some surprising facts and figures behind the year's most spooktacular holiday.

Americans are planning to spend more than ever before this Halloween season, with costumes, candy and party-related purchases topping the list. Perhaps it’s the chance to find a little bit of fun in these hard times, but I see a lot of people planning parties and a little fun this year. Apart from big earnings, there are numerous fun and surprising facts behind Halloween.

TRICK OR TREAT NATION

Trick or Treat

41 Million
Estimated number of children ages 5 to 14 — all potential trick-or-treaters — across the United States in 2010
Source: U.S. Census Bureau's Halloween Facts for Features

93%
Percentage of children who go trick-or-treating every year
Source: National Confectioner's Association (NCA) Fun Facts about Halloween

116.7 Million
Number of occupied housing units in the U.S. in 2010, all potential trick-or-treating destinations
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

68.6%
Percentage of Americans planning to celebrate Halloween this year, up from 63.8 percent in 2010 and the highest number in nine years
Source: National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey

32.9%
Percentage of parents who plan to take their children trick-or-treating this year, up from 31.7 percent last year
Source: Ibid.

73.5%
Percentage of people planning to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters this year
Source: Ibid.

43.9%
Percentage of people planning to dress in a costume this Halloween, up from 40.1 percent in 2010
Source: Ibid.

14.7%
Percentage of people planning to dress their pets in a costume this year
Source: Ibid.

49.5%
Percentage of people planning to decorate their home or yard this year
Source: Ibid.

47.8%
Percentage of people planning to carve a pumpkin for Halloween
Source: Ibid.

46 Million
Number of children who planned their specific costumes a month before Halloween
Source: National Retail Federation's Halloween Favorites

THE BUSINESS OF HALLOWEEN

Halloween Home Deco

$72.31
Average amount a person will spend on Halloween-related purchases this year, up from $66.28 last year
Source: NRF's Consumer Intentions Survey

$19.79

Average amount people will spend on Halloween decorations, second only to Christmas decorations
Source: Ibid.

$6.86 Billion
Total U.S. Halloween spending expected in 2011, up from $5.8 billion in 2010
Source: Ibid.

$21.05
Average expected spending on Halloween candy this year
Source: Ibid.

$4.96
Average spending on Halloween greeting cards expected this year
Source: Ibid.

$26.52
Amount the average consumer is expected to spend on costumes this year
Source: Ibid.

$1.21 Billion
Total amount Americans are forecast to spend on Halloween costumes for adults in 2011, up from $990 million last year
Source: Ibid.

13.4%
Percentage of adults who ranked witch as their favorite costume, the top choice in 2011, followed by pirate (3.9 percent), vampire (3.7 percent), Batman (2.2 percent), cat (2.2 percent) and vixen (2.1 percent)
Source: NRF's Halloween Favorites

$1 Billion
Total amount Americans are expected to spend on children's Halloween costumes, up from $840 million last year
Source: NRF's Consumer Intentions Survey

11%
Percentage of children who ranked princess as their favorite costume, the top choice in 2011, followed by Spiderman (3.1 percent), fairy (2.6 percent), Batman (2.4 percent), vampire (2.4 percent), Disney princess (2.2 percent) and Superman (1.3 percent).
Source: NRF's Halloween Favorites

$310 Million
Total amount Americans are expected to spend on Halloween costumes for their pets in 2011, up from $200 million last year
Source: Ibid.

10.7%
Percentage of people who ranked pumpkin as their favorite costume for their pets, followed by devil (8.1 percent), hot dog (6 percent), cat (3.7 percent) and dog (2 percent).
Source: Ibid.

32.1%
Percentage of people who say the state of the U.S. economy will affect their Halloween spending plans
Source: NRF's Consumer Intentions Survey

87.1%
Percentage of people who plan to spend less to compensate for their economic concerns, through methods such as making their own costume (18.9 percent), using last year's costume (16.6 percent) or buying less candy (40.2 percent)
Source: Ibid.

CARVING AND CANDY

Candy

1.11 Billion Lbs.

Total pumpkin output from major pumpkin-producing states in 2010
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

$116.5 Million
Value of pumpkins harvested from 48,500 acres in 2011
Source: Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

10-25 Lbs.
Average weight range for pumpkins primarily used for jack-o-lanterns
Source: Ibid.

1,810 Lbs.
Weight of the world's heaviest pumpkin, presented in Stillwater, Minn., in October 2010
Source: Guinness World Records

24.7 Lbs.
Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2010
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

1,177
Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2009, led by California with 135
Source: Ibid.

409
Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments producing non-chocolate confectionary products in 2009, led by California with 45
Source: Ibid.

52%
Percentage of adults handing out treats on Halloween who will pass out chocolate, while three out of 10 will provide hard candy or lollipops
Source: NCA's Fun Facts about Halloween

35 Million Lbs.
Amount of candy corn that will be produced this year, equivalent to roughly 9 billion pieces
Source: NCA's Fun Facts about Candy Corn

90%
Percentage of parents who admit to sneaking sweets from their kids' trick-or-treating bags
Source: NCA's Fun Facts about Halloween

70%
Percentage of parents whose favorite candy to sneak from their kids' bags is snack-size chocolate bars, followed by candy-coated chocolate pieces (40 percent), caramels (37 percent) and gum (26 percent)

Time to raid the candy bowl. Give me chocolate and no one gets hurt!

Have a safe and happy Halloween this year!