Halloween doesn’t have as much impact in Europe as it has in the United States, but it is growing in popularity, leading to the development of ever more spooky season treats and trends. Let’s take a look.

While Halloween has its ancient origins among the Celts, and is European in origin, modern celebrations are largely defined by the concepts and traditions of the US. In some European countries, the holiday is regarded as yet another unwelcome cultural and commercial intrusion from across the pond. In others, it fits naturally alongside existing traditions like St. Martin’s Day or All Saints Day. In still others, the opportunity to dress up and indulge in a late-fall festival is highly appealing, and becoming more widely adopted. 

Costumes and Cosmetics

US consumers spent a record $10B USD celebrating Halloween in 2021, and 2022 is anticipated to grow further. Among Americans who celebrate Halloween, the average consumer spends $90 USD on candy and costumes alone. 

With over $3.3B USD spent on costumes, Halloween is a special event for cosmetics and costume retailers. In the past, costumes relied on basic theatrical makeup and ordinary cosmetics. Today, some of the biggest trends in Halloween cosmetics are:

  • Special effects and prosthetics. Consumers are becoming more and more sophisticated at the use of advanced cosmetic techniques borrowed from Hollywood. Prosthetics, contact lenses, lighting effects, and other specialty cosmetics are increasingly in demand to achieve the ultimate costume. 
  • Halloween makeup kits. For less ambitious makeup artists, makeup kits simplify costuming with all-in-one kits. Top brands from Nyx to Mac to Charlotte Tilbury product all-in-one makeup kits with instructions for fantasy and character costumes. 
  • Specialty face looks. Finally, Halloween is a great time to costume yourself with a variety of face looks, and a range of specialty cosmetic products make it simpler than ever. Face stencils or temporary facial tattoos allow you to quickly and easily achieve simple cat and cheetah faces, or complex Dia de Muertos calaveras faces. Facial paints and crayons are a fantastic way to costume a whole family with minimal investments. 

Specialty Confections

Traditionally, Halloween and Trick-or-Treaters simply enjoyed smaller versions of regular confections that are available every day. However, like Christmas and Easter, Halloween now has a wide assortment of specialty candies designed specifically for the holiday. Even in Europe, Halloween is a holiday for those with a sweet tooth, though few countries yet track seasonal sales. 

In Germany, the festivity has become the third-largest holiday for the confectionery industry. In fact, one of the holiday’s most iconic sweets, Candy Corn, was invented by the Goelitz family, German immigrants to the United States, while Germany’s Haribo launched a new line of Halloween gummies last year. 

Halloween may feel like an American upstart holiday, intruding into established European seasons and traditions, although it is deeply European in origin. While it may never achieve the massive popularity and economic impact it has in America, it seems to be here to stay and is growing every year.

Grapefrute wishes you a hell of a Halloween!