Halloween has been getting bigger and bigger over the last few years with more suppliers introducing bespoke products. It also provides an opportunity for wholesalers and retailers to create an event.
Graham Walker, trade communications manager for Nestl eacute; UK, says: “Growing in popularity year on year, Halloween is fast becoming big business in the UK. With shops, both large and small, dedicating an increasing amount of space to the event it presents a real opportunity to grow sales ahead of big seasonal events.
“Halloween’s position in the calendar also has its benefits; with summer truly over after the clocks have ‘fallen back’ an hour at the end of October, it provides the first event of the winter season.
“The combination of its fun and playful nature combined with its functional timing means that the growth of Halloween is sure to continue. And as with all major seasonal events, at the heart of Halloween is confectionery. Halloween specific confectionery grew by 46% in 2010 to be worth pound;11m. What’s more, in 2009 it also grew strongly, by 51%, to be worth pound;8m.”
This year, Nestl eacute; has introduced a Smarties Pumpkin, comprising a hollow chocolate filled with mini Smarties, to offer an impulse line for independent retailers.
Cadbury is launching its Cadbury Screme Egg across all grocery and independent outlets following its success last year. The egg tastes the same as a Cadbury Creme Egg but with green goo and Halloween packaging. Cadbury is also re-introducing its Dead Heads, milk chocolate heads filled with red caramel, with re-designed packaging.
New for this year is the Cadbury Trick or Treatsize Tub, with treat sized versions of Chomp, Curly Wurly, Crunchie and Fudge. The Natural Confectionery Company (TNCC) is also getting involved with its jelly sweets with the new Spooky Treats, Cauldron’s Mix and Beastly Bugs.
Natasha Briant-Evans, brand manager for events at Kraft, says: “Cadbury Screme Egg’s strong sales last year made launching the SKU across all grocery and independent outlets for 2011 the next natural step. We would advise retailers to use Screme Egg as the sign-post for the Halloween season, ensuring it is well stocked from mid September. A campaign supporting the launch will ensure that the product is back in consumers’ minds for the occasion.
“New offerings and pack designs from TNCC, Dead Heads and our Trick of Treatsize Tub will combine to make sure that Halloween confectionery is fresh and exciting for 2011.”
Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager for Mars Chocolate, says: “With the Halloween confectionery market worth an impressive pound;35.2m in 2010 and showing year-on-year growth of 8.5%, Halloween continues to prove an occasion that wholesalers should make the most of. Chocolate and treats alike go perfectly with Halloween and consumers look to favourites from the brands that they know and love, for trick-or-treating and entertaining at home.”
According to Mars, the funsize format represents 66% of overall Halloween sales, and Mars is responsible for almost 50% of bestselling funsize Halloween sales with five out of the top seven funsize products.
the Twilight Factor
Jo Carr, trade marketing manager for Leaf Confectionery, says: “Pop-culture in the shape of vampire based series like Twilight, True Blood and Vampire Diaries have brought consumers of all ages flocking to the Halloween occasion. According to retail analysts Planet Retail, this trading period has grown from only pound;12m in 2001 to more than pound;280m last year.
“With the Twilight franchise set to release the second to last movie shortly after Halloween, we predict Halloween sales to increase even further this year.
“Halloween is not associated with gift-giving and it can be a very inexpensive way for consumers to indulge in some escapism and light relief without investing significantly. They are happy to spend on confectionery and it is certainly one of our biggest annual peaks in sales every year and the sugar confectionery category as a whole.”
Leaf has two dedicated Halloween SKUs, Freaky Faces and Vampire Fangs. Freaky Faces are a mix of facial features which children can make into ‘freaky faces’ then eat them piece by piece, and Vampire Fangs are fruit flavoured jelly sweets.
Mark Stangroom, marketing director for Perfetti van Melle, says: “The Halloween period is one of the busiest times of year for Perfetti van Melle as consumers purchase their favourite sweet brands Chupa Chups, Fruittella and Mentos ready for trick or treat callers.
Perfetti van Melle in the UK is now adding a new Fruittella Spooky Family Halloween bag into its range to complement the two current uniquely designed Halloween packs. The unique Halloween designed bags will be available in the best selling Fruittella flavours and Chupa Chups mini lollipops.” He adds: “The bags are aimed at parents with children and children aged 6-14, which is the perfect target group for the brands.”
Tangerine Confectionery has introduced three new seasonal products for Halloween. Its Butterkist popcorn will feature a limited edition 200g pack of Toffee Popcorn with packaging featuring a haunted house. The Barratt range will also feature Barratt Freaky Body Parts fruit flavoured sweets and Spogz Squirting Skulls, jelly skulls with raspberry flavoured liquid centres.
Lisa Sullivan, brand manager at Tangerine Confectionery, says: “Halloween is one of the major seasonal opportunities when it comes to confectionery and consumers will be looking for the brands they know and trust when they stock up for Halloween parties and trick or treat visitors. Our Barratt and Butterkist brands are long-standing favourites and cater to kids and adults alike, allowing retailers to maximise their Halloween displays and have the most customer appeal.”
Tricks with treats
Gill Davies, marketing director for Dr Oetker, says: “Halloween is now one of the biggest baking events of the year. It’s a real sales opportunity for retailers and one they should embrace.
“Consumers are increasingly baking over Halloween. We see strong sales in decorative products such as decorating icings, especially the traditional Halloween colours of black and orange. Halloween has become a time for celebrating with families and friends and provides inspiration to consumers to get baking. It’s a really creative time for families and friends. People enjoy making spooky cakes and treats and we are helping them to become more adventurous.
“We have just introduced clear jars for a number of lines including Citrus Strands to maximise on-shelf impact and offer shelf space efficiency to retailers. They are a perfect impulse Halloween item.”
Dr Oetker is looking to attract even more consumers into the home baking category this Halloween, with the launch of a brand new range of innovative decorations and finishings for Halloween cakes and treats. There are also the Dr Oetker Halloween activity kits which are designed to give real shelf standout and appeal to kids of all ages. The range includes Halloween Bat Cookie Kit Halloween Cupcake Kit and Halloween Apple Decorating Kit.
Kevin Hamer, national account manager, wholesale, for Premier Foods, says: “For the past three to four years Halloween has provided the cake category with double digit growth, and every year this growth increases. For this reason it is an incredibly important event in the run up to Christmas and can actually lengthen the seasonal period for retailers.
“Over recent years, we have seen Halloween cake products achieve persistent growth within the wholesale category. Seasonal events are a very important part of the cake calendar and offer wholesalers and retailers the opportunity to add incremental sales at key points throughout the year. For this reason it is massively important wholesalers get behind the occasion, and show retailers how effectively you can bring the event to life in store which can have a positive effect on sales.”
Premier Foods says the key Halloween cake SKUs to stock are: Cadbury Trick or Treat Mini Rolls, Mr Kipling Fiendish Fancies, Cadbury Cinder Toffee Cake Bars and Cadbury Scary Orange Cake Bars.
The Fiendish Fancies feature a new pack design and the Demon slice has replaced the Devil slice from last year.
Hamer adds: “In order to maximise the profit opportunity this season offers we urge retailers and wholesalers to create theatre around the occasion, build products into an off shelf display or a themed end of aisle. For wholesalers in particular, position a Halloween display close to the till point and ensure your staff are trained to direct customers to the seasonal products and the sales opportunity it can provide.”
UBUK has introduced limited edition Halloween variants to its McVitie’s range. The Jaffa Cakes Lemon amp; Slime Cake Bars are being brought out again and new for this year are the McVitie’s Tate amp; Lyle Treacle Cake and Toffee Apple Cake.
Mike Benton, marketing controller at McVitie’s Cake Company, says: “With an increasing number of young family shoppers enjoying both the Halloween and Bonfire Night festivities, we recognise this presents a significant opportunity for retailers to grow sales of seasonal products and our new limited edition ranges provide the perfect response to this trend.”
Kraft is introducing a new limited edition Halloween product this year, its Halloween Mini Oreos with orange coloured cream.
Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Kraft Foods UK, says: “Research shows that the Halloween occasion is getting bigger and bigger. Offering a good range of traditional favourites in seasonal packaging can really help to get customers excited about the big night.”
Jonathan Summerley, purchasing director, Hancocks Cash and Carry
Any season provides an opportunity for the confectionery market and Halloween is no exception.
During the week of Halloween there can be a number of different shoppers: adults purchasing confectionery for the inevitable “trick or treaters”, adults buying items for a children’s Halloween party the trend is growing, and of course children buying spooky and fun pocket money items. The key to an independent retailer making money out of Halloween is to understand which of the above shoppers are likely to come into their store and stock a decent range accordingly.
Some retailers fear getting stuck with Halloween themed stock. However with careful selection this need not happen. Hancocks sells a number of items all year round, which will simply peak at Halloween. For example Giant Rats, Giant Spiders, Toxic Waste and Brain Lickers. As a specialist confectionery cash and carry, we can really help our customers to choose the most effective range for their business.