As the nights get darker, it’s highly appropriate that darkness plays an important part in Halloween and Bonfire Night, two big celebrations in late October and early November, which offer a much needed excuse to have a party.

As the Cadbury Halloween biscuits story on this page says, Halloween (Wednesday 31 October) is the UK’s third biggest calendar event in the UK after Christmas and Easter, enjoyed by all ages. So it’s vital that retailers can provide shoppers’ who want to celebrate the occasion with themed goods from trusted brands.

In the last few decades Hollywood movies like Steven Spielberg’s family friendly ‘ET’ at one end and John Carpenter’s more gory Halloween horror series at the other have familiarised us with the American way of celebrating Halloween. This has of course paved the way for Britain’s enterprising marketers to capture our imaginations with seasonal treats and bring a spooky smile to the aisles of our supermarkets, Co-ops and convenience stores.

Halloween originally began as a Christian feast, All Hallows Eve, a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the day before All Saints Day, which among other things honoured the departed.

Members of Christian churches here and around the world still observe All Saints Day according to their different traditions, but today most people in Britain see Halloween as a fun time, an opportunity for children and teens to dress up as witches, vampires and other ‘scary’ figures and go around their neighbourhood knocking on doors and demanding treats. For adults and kids alike, Halloween is also the time for making pumpkin lanterns and giving or going to costume parties, telling scary stories and watching horror films – and in the process enjoying plenty of food and drink and other goodies.

It doesn’t stop there – a few days after Hallowe’en is Bonfire Night, another occasion for a party. Bonfire Night officially occurs on Monday 5 November, though people start celebrating the Friday before. Bonfire Night began as the official celebration of the failure of Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Four centuries later Bonfire Night for many people means having a party around a bonfire and enjoying the last barbeque of the year, with some fireworks at the end. While your shoppers are warming themselves round the fire, the chances are they will also be tucking into such traditional treats as Walkers Nonsuch Treacle Toffee, enjoying fresh popularity with a new generation of consumers.

So don’t miss a trick – help your shoppers treat their friends and families this autumn with a strong seasonal selection of goodies for Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night.

The Grocery Trader

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