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Brits expected to spend over £650 million celebrating Bonfire Night and Halloween


Despite relatively modest levels of participation for both events, people in the UK are expected to spend in excess of £650 million celebrating Bonfire Night and Halloween, according to a YouGov Sixth Sense report.

Bonfire Night

While only 29% of adults will actually participate in an activity to celebrate Bonfire Night, held on 5 November, those who do take part are expected to spend an estimated £386 million.

Bonfire Night celebration items people are expected to buy in 2012 include:

• Fireworks: 12% of adults will buy fireworks to use at home or take to a party
• Food and drink for parties: 12% of UK adults will either attend or host a party
• Attending organised displays: 29% of adults expect to attend an organised fireworks display

Not everyone is enthusiastic, however, with 67% of adults saying that fireworks “should only be let off at properly organised displays”.


Although slightly less popular than Bonfire Night, 53% of adults agree that Halloween is a “fun event for kids”. But despite relatively warm feelings for the event, held on 31 October, only 23% of adults will actively participate in an activity to celebrate Halloween.

For Halloween 2012, consumers in the UK will spend an estimated £268 million:

• Treats for trick or treating: 4% of UK adults plan to go trick or treating with kids
• Dressing up: 7% of adults plan to dress up their children, and 6% plan to dress up themselves
• Food and drink for parties: 7% of UK adults will attend a party and 4% will host a party
• Pumpkins for carving: 8% of adults will carve a pumpkin

Some people have negative impressions of Halloween, however, seeing it as an “unwelcome American cultural import” (45% in agreement). Furthermore, not everyone is convinced that “trick or treating” is harmless fun for the kids (33%).

Commenting on the findings, YouGov SixthSense Research Director James McCoy said;

“The massive amount of money consumers are already spending on Bonfire Night and Halloween would certainly be enough to make retailers sit up and take notice. But the really interesting thing about this report is that the number of people actively taking part is still rather low, and so the big opportunity for retailers is to get the high percentages of people who feel favourably about Bonfire Night and Halloween out celebrating, and of course spending money.”

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