How much does it cost the world to feed Santa Claus?

Every year millions of households across the world leave out tasty snacks for Santa Claus and his reindeer before they go to bed on the evening of their much anticipated arrival. The type of snack differs between each country, in Canada and the United States milk and cookies are customary, while in the United Kingdom families provide a glass of sherry and a mince pie. In other countries Santa gets to nosh on Risengrød [a form of rice pudding] in Denmark, Pan de Pascua [a sweet sponge cake] in Chile, and roasted goat in Kenya. To top it off, when Santa is tucking into all of these festive treats his reindeer are busy nibbling away on juicy carrots and hay.

So how much does all of this food and drink add up to in dollars and cents? Using various sources such as the United States Census Bureau, the Population Reference Bureau and journals such as American Medical News and the Dairy Reporter it is possible to work out a ballpark figure. This article takes into consideration the cost of the actual food and drink but not other costs associated with providing the offerings such as logistics, cleaning and time.

Totalled up, around 215,000,000 households will show their appreciation of Santa’s midnight visit by providing an assortment of edible delights.

At 15 cents each, the 155,000,000 carrots left out for Santa’s reindeer add up to $23,250,000. Hay, which is a lot less popular as an option, adds up to $2,400,000 at $15 per bale.


The average household leaves 5.3 fluid ounces of milk, so Santa has some serious slurping to do. With the price of a pint at 65 cents, all of this moo juice adds up to an eye watering cost of $32,175,149.07.


The Brits and Aussies like to leave a rosey impression on Santa’s cheeks by providing something a little stronger than milk, sherry. Similarly, the Irish often leave a glass of whiskey or a pint of Guinness. All of this booze adds up to one all-mighty bar tab of $22,366,863.90.


As one of America’s favorite treats, Santa can look forward to guzzling down on around 198,000,000 cookies. With an average price of 79 cents per portion, the total cost for these crunchy treats is $65,175,000.


Those households that prefer a mince pie over a chocolate chip cookie will leave out 14,200,000 of them. At 48 cents each that’s a total figure of $6,816,000.


All of the other items of food left out for Santa around the world such as candied fruits, sponge cakes, goat meat, fried dough, sugarplums, cheese, and various types of biscuits add a further $36,723,656 to the final price tag.

Add this all up and the total cost to feed Santa and his reindeer is: $188,906,668.97

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