The UK public is forecast to increase its Halloween spend by 5% to £419m this year compared to 2017, driven by young Millennials, according to new Mintel research.

Over three-quarters (77%) of young Millennials spent money on Halloween in 2017, with 40% of all consumers taking to social media for inspiration for Halloween purchases.

Mintel retail analyst Chana Baram said: “Halloween continues to grow in popularity benefiting from the booming leisure market, and is a perfect opportunity for retailers to create experiences for customers.

“Once again, sales are set to increase as retailers dedicate more shelf space and merchandise to this key seasonal event.”

More than half (52%) of the British public spent money on Halloween last year, with a quarter of Halloween purchases between £10 and £25, but sales figures are expected to rise this year.

However, only a fifth (18%) of consumers bought a pumpkin last year, rising to 24% of those living in the South West and 33% of 25-34s.

Around one in seven (15%) spent money on fancy dress, while 14% splashed out on decorations and 11% purchased special food and drink for the home.

But confectionery is the biggest purchase, with 40% buying sweets or chocolates for trick-or-treaters, Mintel said.

Chana continued: “Confectionery is the biggest purchase for Halloween and even those who do not take part in the celebrations are likely to buy sweets or chocolates for any visiting trick-or-treaters. We are also seeing more evidence of retailers promoting some everyday products as being appropriate for Halloween.

“Fashion and beauty retailers are doing this by putting outfits together that can double up as a costume idea, or makeup that is perfect for creating a Halloween look. This has proved a very effective way to entice millennial consumers, in particular, who are buying more beauty products for Halloween.”