Americans will spend a whopping US$2.38bn on confectionary for tonight's (31 October) Halloween celebrations, according to the US National Retail Federation.

The federation's Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey found the average Halloween celebrant expected to spend US$41.77. Of that money, US$14.41 was going toward confectionary and US$14.85 on costumes.

While 69% of participants had planned to purchase their goods at discount stores, almost half said they were doing their Halloween shopping at standard food and grocery shops.

According to another Halloween survey, commissioned by Hershey Foods, nearly three-quarters of US consumers offer chocolate to trick-or-treaters. Lollipops came in second (47%), followed by hard confectionary (38%) and bubble gum (34%).