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Edison Discovers

Halloween 2017’s Costume & Candy Winners

Halloween 2017 was a huge success for retailers selling merchandise across costumes, candy, and decor. Shoppers reportedly expected to splurge the most on costumes this year, spending a whopping $3.4 billion. Every year, Americans generally get more involved in the spooky holiday, and this year also saw a record $4.1 billion spend forecasted for Halloween candy sales alone. Edison Trends analyzed which candy brands and costumes won the holiday in 2017.

A Battle of the Treats

In 2016, candy and snacks were included in 77 percent of online grocery orders. This year, Amazon’s online food and beverage sales are expected to rise to $2.3 billion (from $1.5 billion in 2016), giving it a 19% share of the online grocery market. To determine which brands of Halloween candy were among the most popular in America, we examined Amazon.com’s sales of treats. Specifically, brands of candy were extracted from Amazon’s e-receipts in October 2017 to generate the map in Figure 1, which reveals the most purchased treats across the country.

Figure 1: 2017 Halloween Candy, Highest Amazon Purchase Volume Map

Hershey’s took the bulk of Amazon’s candy purchases compared to other candy brands, winning the most share of wallet across 28 states evenly across the country, taking control of the East Coast and nearly the entire West Coast, barring Oregon. Airheads followed across 9 states, Skittles across 7 states, Sour Patch Kids across 3 states, and Starburst across 2 states.

The research also found that Hershey’s was the only brand of chocolate that appeared among the top five most sold chocolate brands on Amazon in October across all U.S. states — beating competitor brands including Mars, Almond Joy, and Reese’s chocolate.

This analysis did not take into account mixed bags and their contents. Purchases such as “Halloween Mix,” “Halloween Candy,” or “Party Mix” — which can contain anywhere from 30–60 assorted types of candy brands — were just as popular as any specific candy brand. So, if you’re looking at your Halloween bag and disagree with this chart, that could be why.

Halloween 2017’s Trickiest Costumes

To get a sense of how costume trends have changed year over year, Edison Trends takes a look at which costumes grabbed the most market share.

Halloweencostumes.com is an increasingly popular online retailer for costumes. Looking at the brand’s most purchased costumes of 2017 and 2016 offers an interesting and nostalgic glimpse of American entertainment in recent years. The word clouds below are generated by aggregating words found in costumes purchased, and then comparing the frequency of words to the previous year. The larger the word, the larger percentage increase it saw from the previous year.

Note: Some words may be concatenated for better context e.g. “Progressive” and “Flo.”

Figure 1: Halloween Costumes with Biggest Increase in Demand, Purchased Between March and October 2016

Surprisingly popular costumes:

• Pulp Fiction (1994) costumes (“Pulp Fiction,” “Mia Wallace”) (“Pulp Fiction,” “Mia Wallace”)

• Progressive Insurance costumes (“Progressive,” “Flo”)

Predictably popular costumes:

• “Suicide Squad” (2016)

• Hunger Games (Winter, 2016) costumes (“Katniss,” “Hunger Games”)

Costumes with less-than-expected popularity:

• “Deadpool,” (2016) which didn’t make the cut

Figure 2: Halloween Costumes with Biggest Increase in Demand, Purchased Between March and October 2017

Surprisingly popular costumes:

• “Evie,” a fictional character on Disney’s Descendants 2 (2017)

• Iconic baseball movie, A League of Their Own (1992), with words like “Dottie” (character in the movie) and “Wood” (baseball bat accessory)

• Civil War costumes (“Military,” “Colonial,” [George] “Washington,” “Northern,” “Southern”)

Predictably popular costumes:

• “Pennywise” and “Clown” following It (2017)

• Game of Thrones costumes (“Thrones,” “Dragon,” and “Sitter” — which allows one to seat a baby dragon on their shoulder)

Costumes with less-than-expected popularity:

• “Donald Trump”

• “Moana” (Winter, 2016)

• “Planet of the Apes” (2017)

• Wonder Woman (2017)

Biggest Costume Winners 2016 vs. 2017: The Superhero vs. Disney

2016 Halloween costume purchases were largely influenced by the success of superhero movies, including: Suicide Squad, Dawn of Justice, Civil War (“Captain America”), and DC (Comics). “Rey,” a Star Wars character, was also popular. Interestingly enough, classic movies also had a generally large impact on 2016’s costumes: “Oompa Loompa” and “Chocolate Factory,” “Kill Bill,” “Indiana Jones,” and “Pulp Fiction” and “Mia Wallace” all made a large leap.

2017 Halloween costume purchases were predominantly centered around kid’s movies and television shows. Several Beauty and the Beast words (such as characters, “Beast” and “Belle”), “Minion,” “Moana,” “Lego,” “Disney,” “Power Rangers,” “Powerpuff,” and “Wonderland” (of Alice and Wonderland) made up the bulk smaller words — all centered around a Disney movie, Descendants 2. There were also several children-friendly video game references, including “Minecraft,” “Steve” (a Minecraft character), “Zelda,” and “Breath of the Wild.”

*To learn more about how Edison Trends can help your business, contact us at bizdev@edison.tech. Follow us on Twitter at @EdisonTrends.



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