The pumpkin pile is plumping up

Americans are expected to spend $618.03 million on pumpkins for carving into jack-o-lanterns this Halloween

With 46% of Americans expected to be carving pumpkins this Halloween and the average price per pumpkin hitting $4.12 in October 2017, we’ve calculated an estimated $618.03 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 a record-breaking $9.1 billion this year, the cost of pumpkins has actually dropped by 5.3% since last year to $4.12 on average per pumpkin (woohoo!). Although the same proportion of Americans intend to carve a pumpkin this Halloween, the total US population has grown. This, coupled with a lower average pumpkin price, results in a lower jack-o-lantern expenditure for 2017. View the complete 2016–2017 comparison here.

Here’s how the total adds up:

Average price of a pumpkin in October 2017$4.12
Percentage of Americans planning to carve pumpkins46%
Number of Americans that plan to carve pumpkins, as of October 18, 2017150,007,007
Total jack-o-lantern expenditure$618,028,870

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 2017 is expected to be an expensive day with the National Retail Federation predicting total spending on Halloween to reach a record of $9.1 billion, up 8.3% from last year.

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 2016–2017 jack-o-lantern comparison

Let’s take a closer look

The average price of a pumpkin has dropped by 5.3% in 2017, to $4.12 from 2016’s $4.35. Although the proportion of Americans planning to carve pumpkins has remained the same, at 46%, the American population has experienced +0.4% annual growth. This lower price average coupled with 46% of American’s 2017 population has resulted in a decrease of 4.9% in total jack-o-lantern expenditure. With that in mind, who is ready to carve?

20172016% difference
Average price of a pumpkin$4.12$4.35-5.3%
Percentage of Americans planning to carve pumpkins46%46%
Number of Americans that plan to carve pumpkins150,007,007149,402,066+0.4%
Total jack-o-lantern expenditure$618,028,870$649,898,987-4.9%

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.

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