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Consumer Trends on St. Patrick's Day

Geri Mileva
February 22, 2024
February 23, 2024
Consumer Trends on St. Patrick's Day

One of the key dates that boost eCommerce business, St. Patrick’s Day is a golden opportunity for businesses. As March 17 approaches, consumer spending increases as people prepare for parades, parties, and all sorts of Paddy events. The sales for Shamrock decorations skyrocket and the demand for food products shoots up.

With the return of parades and large events after the pandemic, it would be foolish for brands not to take advantage of higher consumer demand on St. Patrick’s Day 2024. Although some people would keep their wallets tight, others would loosen their purse strings for some Irish luck. Where does all this green spending lead? It could lead straight to your pot of gold—if you do your business strategy right.

St. Patrick’s Day Consumer Behavior and Spending Trends

Festive occasions like Paddy’s Day drive significant economic activity. To capitalize on them, businesses must understand consumer behavior and know how they spend for specific celebrations. For Paddy’s Day, we’ve collated the latest statistics to help you tailor your business strategies more effectively.

  1. Search interest for St. Patrick’s Day is on the rise.

Over the past few years, search interest for St. Patrick’s Day has been steadily increasing. It hit its peak popularity in 2023, and this year, the buzz around Paddy’s Day is picking up steam. In fact, search popularity for “St Patrick’s Day 2024” has shot up by a whopping 4,900% in the first week of February.

Hop on Paddy’s bandwagon by using this keyword. Other search words rising in popularity this month are “st patricks day parade” and “st patricks day parade 2024.” Catch the eye of eager consumers who are gearing up for the festivities and make sure they find you when they're searching for all things St. Patrick's Day!

  1. Consumers are spending more for St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

After a dip in spending in 2021, consumers have been increasingly spending more year after year. In 2023, consumer spending on St. Patrick’s Day related purchases was estimated at $6.9 billion dollars—much higher than pre-pandemic numbers. This year, folks are expected to shell out more green for their Paddy’s Day celebrations.

Consumers are spending more for St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

What’s driving the spending? It’s because more people are jumping at the chance to meet up and celebrate occasions with family and friends. As the economy improves, they feel more confident about spending and going all out for special events.

This spending matters for businesses because it opens a huge opportunity to cash in on the craze. The growing demand for all things green and shamrock-shaped can boost sales. Plus, it can enhance engagement by allowing them to connect with customers in a fun and festive way.

  1. 14% of consumers will shop online for St. Patrick’s Day.

Now, let's talk about where everyone's doing their Paddy's Day shopping. An NRF survey reveals that about 39% of consumers head to grocery stores to stock up on Irish-inspired treats and 28% look for bargains at discount stores. Meanwhile, 19% are checking out department stores, likely hunting for a green outfit to wear to a parade.

Turns out, only about 14% of shoppers are hitting up online marketplaces for all their St. Patrick's Day goodies. If you’re running your business from Amazon, you’d not only want to capture this group but also entice other shoppers to ditch the crowded stores and opt for the convenience of online shopping.

Local businesses have to put in more effort to attract shoppers with only 10% of consumers planning to buy from them. Some shamrock-shaped cookies might lure them in, but you’ll need to do more to rally the community to support local businesses in your area.

  1. Making a special dinner is among the top plans for Paddy’s Day.

St. Patrick's Day wouldn't be the same without the parades! However, in 2023, attending these fun marches did not make it to the top three celebration plans. Instead, people planned to make a special dinner, decorate their home or office, and attend a party.

It’s not that surprising though, because what's better than gathering around the table with loved ones and enjoying a feast? If you’re doing retail arbitrage, stock up on shamrocks, leprechaun hats, and all things green to give your customers plenty of options in decking out their spaces.

  1. U.S. consumers planned to spend an average of $44 on St. Patrick’s Day-related purchases.

In 2023, the average amount U.S. consumers planned to spend for Paddy’s Day celebrations was $44. This may not seem much, but it’s actually $10 more than what they were willing to spend in 2010. Plus, 44 bucks per person would already be enough to have plenty of grub and Guinness to go around.

If the luck of the Irish rubs off on you, you might get your customers to shell out much more than last year’s average. Just make sure you have everything your customers need to paint the town green.

  1. 61% of adults in the United States celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

In a survey conducted in 2023, Americans were asked if they'd be celebrating Paddy’s Day come March. Sixty-one percent of the respondents indicated yes. That’s a green light for parties for about three in five U.S. adults.

The numbers have been on the rise for the past couple of years, with only 49% of consumers planning to celebrate back in 2021. If this trend continues, we’ll hear resounding “aye’s” to Paddy party invites this year.

61% of adults in the United States celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
  1. Food, beverages, and apparel top lists of popular products.

50 percent of consumers are planning on filling their carts with food for a great meal, and what's a feast without a good drink? Beverages come in second on the shopping list, with 41 percent of consumers planning to stock up on drinks too.

Third in the popularity list is apparel and accessories, as festival goers are probably eager to deck themselves out in green. Leprechaun hats are a given, but shamrock-pattered clothing will take it up a notch.

If you’re still planning what to sell on arbitrage, here’s the entire list of the top five products U.S. consumers are planning to buy for Paddy season.

  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Apparel or accessories
  • Decorations
  • Candies
  1. 80% of the people celebrating Paddy’s Day plan on wearing green. 

Expect to see your town to turn into a sea of green come Paddy’s Day. As much as 8 out of 10 consumers planned on sporting a green outfit on the 17th of March last year. With more people anticipated to join the festivities this year, we’ll likely see more green-clad revelers around.

80% of the people celebrating Paddy’s Day plan on wearing green.
  1. Consumers 18 to 34 years old are the biggest spenders on Paddy’s Day.

Consumer spending across all age groups is increasing, but the highest growth is among those ages 18 to 34. Looks like the younger generation isn’t holding back when it comes to celebrations. 

In contrast, the older crowd is keeping things a bit more low-key. While they're still getting in on the St. Paddy's Day action, their spending growth isn't quite as robust as their younger counterparts. In fact, those who are aged 55 and above spend the least amount on St. Pat’s. 

  1. Consumers with children spend more than those without kids.
Consumers with children spend more than those without kids.

Families with little ones are really getting into the spirit of St. Paddy's Day. According to the latest data, 74% of consumers with children are joining in on the festivities. They’re willing to spend more money to make the festivities extra special. They spend mostly on apparel, accessories, decorations, and candies. It's all about creating magical memories with their little ones and making sure every moment is filled with laughter and joy.

On the other hand, only 54% of consumers without children celebrate this special day, and it seems like they're taking a slightly different approach to St. Patrick's Day. Instead of candies and gifts, they spend mostly on food—even spending more on food than those with kids.

Tips and Strategies for Boosting Sales on St. Patrick’s Day

Here are some sham-rocking strategies that can pave a path to your own pot of gold. With a little tweak to align them with your business goals, you can maximize your profits from Paddy’s Day sales.

  1. Stock up on green goodies.

Green is the color du jour. Since time immemorial, it’s been the ubiquitous shade that spreads glee on Paddy’s Day. Prep well for the celebrations by stocking up on all things green. These can be shamrock patterned socks, green shirts, leprechaun hats, green edible powder, green candles, green-themed makeup, green beer, green-colored snacks—anything green to fit the theme.

If your target market are consumers with children, make sure you have a decent selection of fun novelty items like leprechaun plushies, green-themed puzzles, and Paddy’s Day costumes. You may want to stock up on themed decorations and party supplies too. Make sure you have sufficient stocks to meet increased consumer demand and avoid running out of popular items.

Stock up on green goodies.

To minimize losses and overstocking, use sourcing and inventory tools. For example, Tactical Arbitrage can widen your profit margin by helping you find the best sources. Use it to compare the prices of popular products on hundreds of websites so you can find ones that can give you the best profit when you resell them in your shop. If books are your thing, use ScoutIQ for a more focused search on profitable books to sell.

  1. Set your prices right to get a sham-rocking profit.

To capture a chunk of the projected consumer spending, adjust your prices wisely based on market conditions. Analyze pricing data from the previous years and check out the latest trends outlined above when deciding your pricing strategy. You’d want to maximize profits while remaining competitive. Price too high and you’d risk losing potential buyers. Price too low and you might end up incurring more losses than profit.

Consider using Smart Repricer to automate pricing. It intuitively adjusts the prices of your products depending on the consumer demand, competitor pricing, and other factors. It not only frees you from the tedious process of manual repricing, but also improves your listings to attract more customers.

  1. Offer discounts that even the grumpiest leprechaun can’t refuse.

Everyone loves a bargain, especially during festive occasions. In fact, a GWI study reveals that 43% of consumers look out for sales and discounts when planning celebrations. With majority of consumers planning to celebrate Paddy’s Day, you’d want to get a slice of the proverbial shepherd’s pie by luring them in with attractive discounts and promotions.

Run limited-time flash sales to compel them to purchase early. Offer buy-one-get-one-free deals to attract bargain hunters. Provide exclusive discounts to drive more sales. Consider your target market and tailor your promotions to their needs and preferences.

  1. Embrace the Irish theme.

Get into the Irish spirit by creating themed products or menu items that celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Feature these offerings on your website and social media channels. Make sure they are prominently visible on your site and your marketing materials.

If you’re in the food industry, include Irish-inspired recipes in your daily specials. For eCommerce businesses, offer limited-time deals or interactive Paddy-themed games to engage your customers. For local businesses, consider hosting a themed event at your store to attract more foot traffic and create a memorable experience for your customers.

  1. Go green and join the fun in your community.

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, amp up on promotions within your local community by sponsoring or joining St. Patrick’s Day parades or events. Offer themed specials during the week that add a unique twist to your brand. Partner with other local businesses in joint promotions or co-hosted events. Host a pop-up shop at a popular St. Patrick’s Day event or market to reach a larger audience. Be the brand your local community would look forward to spending the festivities with.

  1. Use seasonal keywords to reel in the Paddy’s.

Enhance your online visibility by incorporating popular St. Patrick’s Day keywords into your marketing content. Along with common phrases like "St. Patrick's Day 2024" and "St. Patrick's Day parade," identify trending keywords related to your products or services and use them strategically in your ads and posts.

Leverage tools like Google Trends to identify seasonal search trends and tailor your content accordingly. Among the popular keywords you might consider are:

  • St Patrick’s day parade 2024
  • St Patrick’s Day 2024 – T-shirt
  • Saint Patrick
  • st pattys day
  • paddys day
  1. Use hashtags to optimize ads for the season.

Amplify marketing with St. Patrick’s Day themes to capture the festive spirit. Consider creating themed landing pages or ad campaigns to highlight your St. Patrick’s Day promotions and drive traffic to your website.

Use catchy captions inspired by popular St. Patrick’s Day sayings and incorporate relevant hashtags like #shamrock, #green, and #Ireland to expand your reach on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Monitor the performance of your ads closely and make adjustments as needed to maximize your return on investment.

Don't forget to check out trending hashtags for more engagement opportunities! Here are a few to start you off: 

  • #stpatricksparade
  • #leprechaun
  • #shamrock
  • #stpats
  • #stpattys
  • #Irish

More Than the Luck of the Irish

A little luck of the Irish may help, but boosting sales on St. Patrick’s Day requires a bit more than that. You’d need some savvy business tactics to attract consumers. To get your share of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you’ll need to know how consumers are spending their green bills and how to make even the grumpiest leprechauns smile with your product offerings.

Take advantage of the latest tools from Threecolts to maximize your reach, and ultimately, maximize your profits on Paddy’s Day. Start implementing your marketing strategy now to celebrate a day filled with luck, laughter, and higher profits on the 17th. Sláinte!