The National Retail Federation’s annual St. Patrick’s Day survey (cited below) found that 148 million Americans plan to celebrate the holiday this year, up from 139 million in 2022. This increase in celebrants is likely due to the continued rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the easing of pandemic-related restrictions on gatherings and events.
St. Patrick’s Day spending hits an all-time high
Consumers plan to spend a total of $6.9 billion, or an average of $43.84 per person. That’s over $1 billion more than last year.
The NRF’s survey also found that the largest portion of St. Patrick’s Day spending will go towards food and beverages, with the average person planning to spend $35.37 on items like green beer, Irish whiskey, and traditional Irish foods like corned beef and cabbage.
Americans are getting their Irish on via clothing and decorations too. 23% of survey respondents planned to buy green-themed clothing and accessories like hats, t-shirts, and socks. 14% planned to purchase home decorations like shamrock-themed tablecloths, napkins, and placemats.
The NRF notes this record-breaking St. Patrick’s Day spending is good news for retailers and businesses. Many of these have struggled over the past two years due to the pandemic.
With the holiday falling on a Friday in 2023, many Americans will continue to celebrate throughout the weekend. This will provide even more opportunities for spending on food, drinks, and festivities.
The NRF also notes that this is an all-ages affair.
“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.”
Of course, the pandemic is not over yet, and St. Paddy’s celebrations may still be impacted by COVID-19. But with vaccines becoming more widely available, celebrations will probably be more robust this year.