How much will Americans spend on jack-o-lanterns on Halloween?

The pumpkin pile is plumping up

Americans are expected to spend $575.26 million on pumpkins for carving into jack-o-lanterns in 2018

With 45% of Americans expected to be carving pumpkins this Halloween and the average price per pumpkin hitting $3.89 in late September 2018, we’ve calculated an estimated $575.26 million will be spent on pumpkins to be hollowed out and placed on doorsteps and porches around the country.

Despite Halloween spending expected to reach $9 billion this year, the cost of pumpkins has actually dropped by about 5.6% since last year to $3.89 on average per pumpkin (woohoo!). This lower average pumpkin price coupled with a smaller proportion of Americans wanting to carve a pumpkin results in a lower jack-o-lantern expenditure for 2018.

Here’s how the total adds up:

Average price of a pumpkin in October 2018 $3.89
Percentage of Americans planning to carve pumpkins 45%
Number of Americans that plan to carve pumpkins, as of October 18, 2017 147,882,426
Total jack-o-lantern expenditure $575,262,637

Source: finder.com, United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Retail Federation

Time to get spooky

Thankfully, there should be enough supply to meet demand for everything pumpkin-related this fall, with pumpkin production up on last year, when diseases, rain and cool temperatures damaged crops.

Overall, Halloween 2018 is expected to be an expensive day with the National Retail Federation predicting total spending on Halloween to reach a record of $9 billion.

Source: National Retail Federation, finder.com

How can you save money at Halloween?

“If you don’t keep your spending on costumes, decorations and parties under check, Halloween can quickly become one of the most expensive holidays of the year,” advises Jennifer McDermott, Consumer Advocate at finder.com.

“It’s important to set yourself a budget before venturing to the shops to ensure you’re conscious of over-spending. To stretch your dollar even further, you might opt to get creative instead of buying something new. When it comes to costumes, the winning outfit might be a combination of items already hanging in your wardrobe, or from around the house (after all, sheets make for the perfect ghost!). If hosting a party, try to purchase items that you know you’ll be able to use again.”

How to choose the ideal pumpkin for carving

A 2017–2018 jack-o-lantern comparison

Let’s take a closer look

The average price of a pumpkin has dropped by 5.6% in 2018, to $3.89 from 2017’s $4.12. The proportion of Americans planning to carve pumpkins has only declined 1%, at 45%. This lower price average coupled with 45% of American’s 2018 population has resulted in a decrease of 7.0% in total jack-o-lantern expenditure. With that in mind, who is ready to carve?

2018 2017 % difference
Average price of a pumpkin $3.89 $4.12 -5.6%
Percentage of Americans planning to carve pumpkins 45% 46%
Number of Americans that plan to carve pumpkins 147,882,426 150,007,007 -1.4%
Total jack-o-lantern expenditure $575,262,637 $618,028,870 -7.0%

Source: finder.com, United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Retail Federation

Jack-o-lantern fun facts

  • 80% of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.
  • Jack-o-lanterns are believed to have originated in Ireland in the 19th century.
  • The world’s largest jack-o-lantern was carved into the Guinness World Records on October 31, 2010, by Scott Cully in Bronx, New York, weighing 1,810.5 pounds (821.23kg).
Jennifer McDermott

Consumer advocate helping people improve their personal finances.

You may also like

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.
Go to site