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Halloween's a Grown-up Holiday

Halloween’s a Grown-up Holiday: How Consumer Trends Are Changing the Meaning of October 31st

Historically, Halloween has been the joy of children all over the nation. It is a chance for them to live out their fantasies in cute Halloween costumes and also collect handfuls of delicious treats. What could be better? These days, there’s a new group of people taking part in the Halloween fun: the grown-ups. Trends in consumer purchases in the last five years alone during this autumn holiday have changed drastically. The growth in the number of adults celebrating Halloween, especially the number deciding to don a costume, is altering the way we view this traditionally juvenile holiday. Child Witch Costume - Pretty WitchMost estimates state that around 90% of American children celebrate Halloween, a figure that has stayed roughly the same through the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st. In 2011, nearly 7 in 10 adults celebrated Halloween in some way according to the National Federation, a statistic that has ballooned 10% from 2007. Assuming a comparable growth rate, Halloween will be celebrated at a similar rate by both children and adults before the year 2020. The engine of this growth is the spike in the number of adults choosing to wear a costume on Halloween night. The

percentage of adults who participate in Halloween by dressing up swelled from 31.5% in 2005 to 43.9% in 2011. Here on FantasyToyland.com, we've seen a striking increase in the number of adult costume sales. Particular categories like “offensive costumes” are becoming more popular than ever before, pointing to a growing market of costume consumers who may or may not have children. This phenomenon could be explained by a combination of things. Logically, it could be assumed that perhaps more people are electing to dress up as they accompany their children instead of going in plain clothes, but the number of adults that report taking their children trick-or-treating has been nearly stagnant for the past five years. It is unlikely that millions of parents who weren’t dressing up suddenly decided to, especially considering the growth in sales for costumes that are not exactly child appropriate.

In contrast, young adults have started dressing up at astronomic rates. Of those electing to participate in Halloween, over 85% chose to wear a costume in 2011. According to a Harris Poll done in 2011, young adults are significantly more likely to report Halloween as their favorite holiday, even over classics like the 4th of July or even New Year’s. This renewed interest in Halloween among young people could reflect a desire to escape the stresses of everyday life. Ever more contentious politics, the sluggish economy, mounting student debt, and other woes could be the cause of this Halloween hay fever. Wearing a mask or a crazy costume is a cheap way to let loose and forget about looming problems, if only just for one day. No matter the cause, the result is clear. The face of Halloween in the next 20 years may not be a smiling 4-year-old dressed as a pumpkin, but a drunken 22-year-old dressed as a banana. Gone are the days of normally clad Moms and Dads watching their children go around collecting sweets. Now, they are just as likely to be in costume themselves.

As Halloween changes from a holiday for kids to one just as much for grown-ups, try one of our Halloween Costumes. We understand the changing market and thus go out of our way to provide a wide selection of costumes for all ages, men and women. From Group Halloween Costumes to Superhero Costumes, your perfect holiday look is never far off on FantasyToyland.com.

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