St. Patrick’s Day Retail Sales Expected to Hit Record Level

Consumers plan to spend $6.9 billion on the green-hued holiday, which takes place March 17.

March 08, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that “61% of consumers plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, up from 54% in 2022 and the highest in the history of the survey.”

With more celebration comes more spending. Consumers plan to spend a total of $6.9 billion—$1 billion more than last year—or an average of $43.84 per person, according to NRF.

“Although younger consumers are still more likely to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than any other age group, celebration plans among those 35 and up are on the rise. As consumers start aging out of the 18- to 34-year-old category, they’re bringing their enthusiasm for St. Patrick’s Day with them to the next stage in their lives. Maybe their favorite color is green, maybe they really like corned beef hash, but whatever it is, they keep coming back for more St. Patrick’s Day,” reports NRF.

Food will be the top category for expenditures, followed by beverages, apparel or accessories, decorations, candy, greeting cards and then gifts.

Numerator also previewed St. Patrick’s Day. Although Numerator’s findings were different, it identified the same trend: “Overall, nearly half (44%) of U.S. consumers expect to celebrate the holiday this year—an increase of 14 percentage points from St. Patrick’s Day 2022.”

More data from Numerator:

  • Irish beers see increased household penetration thanks to St. Patrick’s Day. According to Numerator purchase data, Irish beers like Guinness and Smithwick’s double their household penetration in March compared to the average month. Guinness also rises from the #17 beer annually to the #9 beer in the month of March.
  • The entire beer category benefits from St. Patrick’s Day. According to Numerator purchase data, beer sees a 2.3-point boost in household penetration in March versus February (from 44.5% to 46.8%, respectively).

In September, NACS Magazine reported on how c-stores can benefit from holiday and seasonal merchandising in “A Festive Look.”