NRF Survey: St. Patrick’s Day Spending to Hit Record $5.9 Billion, Food and Beverage Most Popular Items

by Camren Skelton

Washington, D.C. — More than 149 million U.S. adults are expected to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, spending a record $5.9 billion on items related to the holiday, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Proper Insights & Analytics.

The annual survey, conduced Feb. 2 to 13, asked 7,657 consumers ages 18 and up about their St. Patrick’s Day plans. The 2018 figure is the highest level in the survey’s 14-year history, up from last year’s previous record of $5.3 billion.

“The holiday falls on a Saturday this year, so Americans will have more time to splurge a little as they get together with friends and loved ones for a day of festivities,” says Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF, a Washington, D.C.-based retail trade association.

According to the survey, consumers are expected to spend an average of $39.65 per person, up from last year’s total of $37.92. The holiday is most popular among individuals 18 to 24 years old, with 77 percent celebrating, but those 35 to 44 will be the biggest spenders at an average of $45.76 each.

Celebrants plan to make the majority of their St. Paddy’s purchases from grocery stores (38 percent), discount stores (31 percent) and department stores (20 percent). Half of the consumers surveyed said they plan to purchase holiday-themed food for the occasion, followed by beverage (41 percent), apparel (31 percent), decorations (26 percent) and candy (16 percent).

“Compared to other spending holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is less about giving gifts and more about having fun with friends and family regardless of the budget,” says Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at Prosper Insights & Analytics. “With more Americans celebrating the shamrock-filled holiday, we expect consumers will enjoy their favorite green beverage and apparel, attend events around their community and decorate their homes.”

Click here to read the full survey results.

— Camren Skelton

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