Frighteningly good sales

Irn Bru

SLR takes a look at some great products retailers should consider this Halloween and offers a few hints and tips on how to make Halloween a success in-store.

by Émer O’Toole


Almost from out of nowhere the Halloween seasonal opportunity has ballooned into one of the most significant sales opportunities of the annual local retailing calendar, giving retailers the potential to drive significant additional sales and profits. More and more suppliers now produce Halloween-specific products and many also offer free merchandising and POS kits to help retailers create that all-important in-store theatre and buzz that really makes Halloween come to life.

Halloween presents retailers with an opportunity to increase sugar confectionery sales, with Nielsen research revealing that the category holds a 5.5% share of all confectionery sales during the Halloween period — compared to a 19% average share across the rest of the year. Kantar research has shown that over two thirds of shoppers spend an average of £1 per pack on Halloween products, making low entry price points really important.

Last year’s him! research reveals that c-store retailers are reluctant to buy themed products, with just 36% saying they feel they should get behind seasonal events with themed stock. However, last year Wrigley’s confectionery sales grew by 25% in total market across the Halloween season, supported by the limited edition launches.

At a time when family sharing and parties are key, sharing bags have driven strong growth into the category. ChewMix hanging bags are ideal for parties and trick or treaters because the individually wrapped chews can be handed out and passed around. Chewits Vampire Fangs (RSP £1.29) are also back, and can be added to in-store theatre. Haribo’s new Halloween range will help grow seasonal confectionery sales. TangfasTricks and Scaremix packs will be poular during the occasion. These are available in 150g and 200g packs and the Mega Party version, which combines a selection of Haribo mini bags.

IGD 2015 market research reveals that the biggest spend at Halloween is on confectionery and soft drinks, with fun and affordability being the key sales drivers. Shoppers will be looking to stock up on take-home packs of soft drinks favourites, as well as smaller pack formats to hand out to trick-or-treaters. AG Barr has a range of products that fit both of these opportunities with the well-loved Barr range and Irn-Bru offering unique, fun and exciting flavours at great value.

Halloween is now an unmissable opportunity in the retail calendar and c-store retailers should plan in advance for maximum sales.

Get spooky with Skittles and Starburst limited edition

Skittles Darkside is back for a second year with five spooky flavours including: Forbidden Fruit, Midnight Lime, Blood Orange, Pomegranate and Dark Berry. The dark indigo hanging pouch is ideal to serve at parties, and retails at a RRP of £1.28.

Starburst is returning with its Trick or Treat limited edition pack in a handy Tear and Scare pouch. Consumers will be able to experience a tense surprise when they taste one of the sweet or sour scare edition flavours, which include apple, orange and raspberry.

Skittles Fruits Funsize compliments the range and is the perfect size to hand out to trick-or-treaters. The Funsize range is available in multipacks of 11 x 18g bags, with a RRP of £1.39.

Dan Newell, Wrigley Confections Marketing Manager, says: “Our seasonal range is available for three months in various convenient pack formats, which suit a range of Halloween activities. Retailers should stock up on special confectionery packs to complete their Halloween ranges and add to the theatre in store.”

Wrigley will be supporting the launch with Halloween themed POS including dedicated cardboard units and clipstrips.

Burton’s Biscuit Company Halloween range

Burton’s Biscuit Company’s Halloween range consists of four products that will be on sale until 31st October.

The line-up includes: Screme Egg Biscuits (rrp £1.79); Animals Halloweenies (rrp £1.79); Mini Fingers (rrp £1.79), and Trick or Treat Biscuits (rrp £4.49).

David Costello, Head of Category & Shopper Management at Burton’s Biscuit Company, says: “Halloween is the UK’s fourth largest event, appealing to more than 1 in 5 households*2 and representing a huge profit opportunity for retailers.

Tangerine Confectionery goes Spooktacular for Halloween

Halloween displays and seasonal aisles are also containing more and more sugar confectionery. The seasonal aisles in store pull shoppers inside at these key times meaning sugar confectionery sees a higher footfall. Shoppers who wouldn’t otherwise visit the confectionery aisle in store are picking up sweets as they pass through, driving the spike in sales every year.

Tangerine Confectionery is launching Sweet Champion Chews Halloween Assortment in a 200g sharing bag, a selection of the UK’s favourite chews in a Halloween pack, and a 300g Sweet Champions Lollies Assortment pouch.

Featuring Tangerine Confectionery’s ‘Champion’ sweet brands such as Wham, Fruit Salad, Refresher and Dip Dab, these assortments of chews and lollies will help to deliver great category sales for c-store retailers.

Swizzels gets ready for fright night

Swizzels individually wrapped Loadsa range is the ideal choice for trick or treaters as well as for serving at parties. These packs include Loadsa Lollies, Loadsa Sweets and Loadsa Chews. The bags have a £1 flash so consumers recognise they are getting great value for money.

The brand has created limited-edition Drumstick Squashies in an Orange and Blackcurrant flavour especially for Halloween. Another option is the Trick or Sweet bag containing a selection of Double Lollies, Parma Voilets, Refresher Bars, Love Hearts, and the new Sour Apple Refreshers chew bar.

M&M’s Halloween Limited Edition Peanut returns

The M&M’s Limited Edition Peanut range is back for this year’s spooky season.

Containing brown, green and orange M&M’s, the Halloween Limited Edition Peanut range comes in a variety of formats including a 45g single (rrp 60p); a 100g Chewbag (rrp £1.19); a 165g Pouch (rrp £2.09), and a 300g Large Pouch (rrp £3.29).

Mars is also launching M&M’s Choco Funsize — a brand new variant for this year’s Halloween season.

It’s time to get spooky with Mini Babybel

Halloween isn’t all about sugar. Mini Babybel is reintroducing its Halloween-themed packaging. The themed mini cheeses add interest and variety to the lunchbox, and are ideal for handing out to trick-or-treaters or serving at Halloween parties. The nets come in three different formats: Nets of six (Original, Light, Cheddar and Gouda), a variety pack of nine (three Original, three Cheddar, three Gouda) and a net of 12 (Original and Light).

Chloé Féminier, Head of Insight and Planning at Bel UK, says: “Halloween is the third biggest event of the year for retailers and presents the opportunity for retailers to capitalise on category growth. Consumers look for inspiration to help them cater for their spooky celebration and mums love to find new, interesting treats beyond sweets and sugary snacks.”

Butterkist Choc Mallow

Butterkist is launching a new variant ideal for the Halloween market. Butterkist Choc Mallow captures the winning combination of chocolate and marshmallow flavours seen in sweet snacks; hot drinks and baking. Unique with no other chocolate and marshmallow flavoured popcorn on the market, this product has mainstream appeal for adults and kids. In line with Butterkist’s indulgent positioning, it is Butterkist popcorn with a toffee coating and chocolate and vanilla flavour.

Anjna Mistry, Senior Brand Manager for Butterkist, says: “Promotional strategies for popcorn have evolved as the shopper becomes more single price point focused and retailers strive for every day low pricing strategies. There is now less reliance on multi-buys and more focus on temporary price reductions, which is reflected in many popcorn promotions and also encourages more trial of the product, driving further penetration into the category.”