What to stock for Halloween

halloween

John Silcox outlines the products wholesalers need to have this Halloween.

Halloween is now the UK’s third highest consumer spending occasion after Christmas and Easter with more than £325million spent during this period last year, according to figures from Planet Retail. Trick or treating is now a common occurrence in many neighbourhoods and a recent Retail Verdict report shows that 70% of families are planning to splash out on fiendish delights to celebrate the occasion again this year. 

“There has been a clear increase in the number of Halloween parties, with both kids and adults taking advantage of the occasion,” says Matthew Critchley, category marketing director (Cake), Premier Foods. “There is real potential for retailers and manufacturers alike to capitalise on the incremental sales opportunity that Halloween-themed cakes can offer, particularly as this falls on a Friday this year.” 

While own-label sales grew in 2013 to achieve a market share of 20.6%, it is generally the established brands that do well at Halloween. Matthew Critchley adds: “Mr. Kipling and Cadbury Cakes still have the largest share of the packaged cakes category with 27.1% and 21.7% share respectively.”

As well as shop-bought cakes, Halloween is also popular for home baking ingredients. Many consumers put their imagination to the test and put spooky-themed creations in the oven. 

Gill Davies, executive head of marketing (Ambient), Dr. Oetker UK, says: “Halloween provides a great opportunity for creativity. We see strong sales in decorative products such as decorating icings, especially the traditional ‘Halloween’ colours of black and orange (sub-category up 74%). Retailers excel during this period offering bespoke recipes, off shelf space and even power aisles.”

Adults are increasingly taking part in Halloween and to cater for this market there is a growing number of alcoholic beverages that fit the bill. Charlotte Evans, marketing manager at Brothers Cider says: “Cider is no longer a product that lends itself purely to the sunshine; Brothers Toffee Apple Cider sells 42% of its total annual volume in the winter months.”

Nevertheless special displays and Halloween-themed point of sale material can boost the sales of any product if used correctly. “Displays are essential when it comes to making the most of the Halloween opportunity and can boost sales by up to 392%,” says Adrian Troy, head of marketing for AG Barr.

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