Preparation breeds seasonal success

Confectionery still king at Halloween as shoppers stock up on seasonal treats early, ahead of a likely increase in children going door-to-door post Covid

Maltesers and Chewits
Individually wrapped sweets and treat bags should all perform well this Halloween.

DON’T miss out on the opportunity to secure a seasonal uplift by waiting to put Halloween stock on shelf.

That was the message coming through from confectionery brands as they prepare for one of the category’s biggest annual events.

At Mars Wrigley, Sophia Padt, senior brand manager for Easter and Halloween, said last Halloween brought £39.6m in incremental spend to the confectionery category.

That’s the largest incremental spend increase for any category at Halloween, cementing confectionery’s position as key to the spooky season.

Kantar data to 9 November 2021 found that confectionery sales grew by 27% around Halloween and Padt reckons retailers can start to make that pay for them sooner rather than later.

“Watching scary movies with loved ones, and creating spooky bakes have both become popular trends in the lead-up to Halloween.

“Bitesize is the fastest growing segment in chocolate, and with the format working perfectly in spooky bakes, stocking consumer favourite flavours in these formats will be important for this occasion,” she said.

From the Mars Wrigley portfolio, Padt recommended Maltesers and M&Ms as the firm’s biggest hitters.

In terms of format, Padt highlighted the trio of fun size, sharing bags and tubs as “particularly popular” for Halloween shoppers, “as they cater to all seasonal shopper missions.

“Fun size packs remain an essential format for Halloween, working perfectly for the trick or treating ritual.

“Mars Wrigley had a 60% share of chocolate fun size for the Halloween occasion in 2021, so it will be key for retailers to stock fun size formats of the brand’s top products to drive sales,” she said.

The scale of the Halloween opportunity is not lost on confectionery maker Perfetti Van Melle, the firm behind brands such as Chupa Chups and Fruitella.

Lauren Potter, Fruitella brand manager at Perfetti Van Melle, said that research conducted by KAM Media found the “vast majority” of retailers plan to make space for Halloween-related confectionery, while shoppers are still determined to get into the spirit.

“Three out of four (74%) adults plan to celebrate Halloween, the same proportion as 2021, with one in three (32%) intending to go trick or treating.

“Of those celebrating, 68% are likely to buy sweets or chocolate to give out to trick or treaters, a huge rise versus last year’s 58%,” she said.

The return of guising – the noble Scottish tradition of children hassling neighbours for confectionery on Halloween – is something retailers may wish to consider when building their seasonal confectionery offer.

According to Potter, 86% of shoppers prefer wrapped sweets and chocolates for Halloween and a similar number say packaging choices play a major part in deciding which brands to buy.

She said: “Shoppers opting for wrapped sweets and chocolates for Halloween is likely to be a long-term shift in consumer preference, as it hasn’t decreased, even with people being less anxious overall about hygiene.

“Judging by the responses to our survey, Perfetti Van Melle is in a real sweet spot to respond to both shopper demand and retailer needs – individually wrapped sweets and sharing bags from the UK’s best-loved brands; Fruittella and Chupa Chups, that appeal not only at Halloween, but throughout the year.”