Retailers can drive profits from soft drinks this Halloween by displaying a range of fun, affordable products and new flavours, that appeal to shoppers stocking up for seasonal parties or trick or treaters.
Halloween is the UK’s third biggest retail event (IGD), and with more families and young adults buying into the category, a range of flavours, themed displays and in-store theatre are all vital for maximising sales uplift. The Halloween occasion represents a significant opportunity for retailers to grow sales during what is now a key period in the UK retail calendar.
Pre Covid, 1 in 3 people celebrated either by attending or hosting a Halloween party (IGD) and 7 out of 10 shoppers did not celebrate Halloween at all in 2020 (IGD).
After more than a year of restrictions and many missing out on trick or treating last year, Halloween is set to be bigger than ever in 2021. Soft drinks and confectionery are still the biggest profit drivers (IGD), with shoppers stocking up on take-home packs of soft drinks for parties and smaller formats to hand out to trick or treaters.
Adrian Troy, Marketing Director at Barr Soft Drinks, comments: “1 in 3 shoppers buy soft drinks at Halloween, so this is a key category focus for retailers, presenting a real opportunity to boost incremental sales.”
Barr Soft Drinks is advising retailers to stock up on its best-selling brands, such as the Barr Family carbonates range, which is currently worth £44.2m (IRI), including new limited edition Barr Sours. Sour Berry and Sour Apple (PMP 79p, 500ml) have been developed to create excitement and buzz around the soft drinks fixture, and will be perfectly placed to draw shoppers’ attention and drive incremental seasonal sales.
“Limited edition flavours are always very popular with shoppers, so retailers should make the most of this crucial sales opportunity before it’s gone,” says Troy.
IRN-BRU, the UK’s No. 1 flavoured carbonate brand (IRI), is a must stock for retailers all year round, but particularly during seasonal occasions and celebrations. “Bigger pack formats are key here and we would encourage retailers to stock both Original and XTRA variants in 2L, especially throughout autumn and winter,” adds Troy. “The iconic brand has recently benefitted from a £6m brand investment which saw it burst back onto national TV screens, so shopper awareness is at an all time high.”
Claire James, Trade Marketing Manager at Haribo, comments; “Halloween 2021 falls on a weekend, so it is set to be a spooktacular, Sunday celebration, especially following the frightful experience that we all had during the lockdowns in 2020!”
“We expect this year to be bigger, better and more inclusive than ever with a return to growth for Halloween confectionery. Last year was very much ‘stick and treat’. Here parties and ‘at home’ activities prevailed and trick or treating quietened with so many people in lockdown. But normality should resume this year, with some important hygiene considerations that will support purchase decisions and sales,” adds James.
Two of the most popular attributes when purchasing Halloween confectionery is value and large formats. This is why shareability is the perfect potion for Halloween.
“Themed treats and offering variety are also important trends,” James continues. ‘At the same time, individually wrapped products provide protection and allow people to adhere to strict hygiene measures, while also supporting portion control. Together this creates a Happy Halloween for retailers, shoppers and those receiving seasonal treats.”
To support Halloween and to ensure that retailers have the right stock for all shopper missions, Haribo has prepared treats for sharing, parties and to tantalise tricksters that come knocking at doors.
Maintaining its position as the number one sweets manufacturer, Haribo has a 46.8 per cent share of Halloween leveraged sweets (IRI), and will return several seasonal lines to stores this year. This will include a selection of impulse treats such as Haribo Scaremix and TangfasTricks share bags alongside Trick or Treat mini multipacks.
Delivering some fiendish fun for sharing is Haribo Scaremix, which combines the five pieces found in Starmix with seasonal flavours, including toffee apple Eggs and blood orange Bottles.
TangfasTricks, which experienced good growth contains both tangy and super sour pieces.
Haribo Trick or Treat contains bats, broomsticks, frogs and spider-shaped pieces in a multipack containing ten mini bags.
James adds: “Themed products help retailers to create store theatre, this acts as a beacon and drives shoppers to key locations in store. Products with packaging and pieces that match the occasion also help consumers to get into the spirit of Halloween.
“But our top-selling, all-year-round products also help our retailers to sell through while providing the value, volume and variety that consumers demand.”
All year-round products that help create the perfect potion for parties and trick or treaters are Haribo’s most popular mini bags and Maoam’s individually wrapped treats.
Popular Halloween treats, Starmix Minis and Share the Happy 176g multipacks, each contain 11 mini bags.
Share the Happy brings together mini packs of Haribo’s top sellers: Starmix, Tangfastics, Supermix and Giant Strawbs Gone Mini.
Maoam also adds a little extra bite in the form of Stripes, MaoMixx and JoyStixx. These individually wrapped chews can be enjoyed both during the occasion and beyond.
“Having the right treats is an important factor for convenience retailers, but knowing when to stock is also critical,” comments James . “While ranges and limited editions can appear in store as early as August, shoppers start to buy into sweet confectionery for Halloween six weeks ahead. Last-minute purchases create peak shopper activity in the week counting down to the Spooktacular event, and this is an essential timeline for retailers.”
Jas Ghag, Senior Category & Insights Executive at Perfetti Van Melle, says: “Perfetti Van Melle (PVM), one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of confectionery and chewing gum, is launching its biggest-ever Halloween campaign. Titled ‘All Wrapped Up’, it will support sales opportunities ahead of HFSS regulations coming into force next April.”
Despite the pandemic, Halloween remained the key season for sugar confectionery last year, with an additional £11.6m sales during the period compared to the eight weeks leading up to it (Kantar).
The ‘All Wrapped Up’ campaign, running across Fruittella and Chupa Chups, includes £1million of multimedia support expected to generate over 135million impressions, as well as new product launches to drive awareness during the prime confectionery event.
PVM is adding two new Chupa Chups lines, giving more space to the increasingly popular all year round wrapped sweet formats and helping to drive growth in sales beyond the seasonal period.
Already amongst the top five wrapped Halloween brands in the UK (IRI), new Chupa Chups’ Sour Lollies contain 10 individually wrapped cherry, apple, and lemon flavoured pieces, providing the ideal Trick or Treat option.
Building on the growing trend of portion-controlled pack formats, the second launch is a new 300g tub, containing 32 individually wrapped fun family favourites such as Classic Lolly and Mini Lolly, all within a reusable, recyclable plastic tub in the shape of the Chupa Chups logo.
Most importantly for the grocery channel, both launches will be supported at store level by visits from the PVM field sales team to selected outlets who will be creating festive in-store displays using Halloween-themed POS.
Teaming up with Craft Factory, PVM will be raising mass awareness of Fruittella through a series of Spooky Sunday videos encouraging consumers to get involved in seasonal activities such as pumpkin carving and costume creation. Content will then be amplified on Pinterest, reaching one in three mums in the UK and capitalising on the 14.7million Halloween-related searches users make on the site every year.
The Chupa Chups Charm challenge, which will see the brand partner with TikTok influencers, turning the much-loved lollies into metaphorical wands that once tapped on the screen, will create a before and after mechanic that users can engage with for Halloween makeup and costume transformations all under the bespoke hashtag #ChupaChupsHalloween. As well as being amplified on TikTok, broader awareness of the content will be generated through Snapchat advertising and interactive in-app filters.
Unmissable vinyl-wrapped POS D6 displays are acting as final prompts to purchase for consumers of both brands for the full campaign duration, driving relevance and boosting sales at key grocery locations. Ghag adds: “Halloween continued to be the most important season for confectionery last year, that’s why we’re starting our activity in September and investing heavily through our above the line ‘All Wrapped Up’ campaign, including new product launches and in-store support for retailers.”
“This year, we’re focused on ensuring retailer needs are met with a range that is popular beyond the seasonal period. Our offering combines consistent best sellers with on-trend additions with a clear focus on all year round wrapped sweets that gives more space to those lines that are growing in popularity.”
Victoria Gell, Fruity Confections Brand Director, Mars Wrigley, comments: “Worth £82.6 million in retail sales, Halloween continues to present a strong opportunity for retailers to drive seasonal confectionery sales. With 2020 seen as a challenging year for all Halloween celebrations, this season is anticipated to present a profitable opportunity for retailers and the wider category. Retailers can not only increase consumer confectionery spend with Halloween themed sharing bags and tubs, but the occasion also helps to grow the confectionery category overall.”
In order for retailers to succeed during the busy Halloween season, it’s vital to stock customer favourites in a variety of formats. More to share formats remained in growth in 2020 with Mars Wrigley sales increasing by +43.2% on the previous year (Kantar), proving a staple for Halloween celebrations. Tins and Tubs also grew in sales, with Celebrations 650g tub remaining the number one SKU for Halloween from 2018-2020 (Nielsen).
“By stocking funsize SKUs, sharing bags and tubs retailers can reach out to trick or treaters, those throwing Halloween gatherings and celebrations and also those who choose a night in to watch horror movies together,” says Gell.
Scary movies are becoming an increasingly popular ritual that starts to build excitement in the run-up to Halloween. This presents a huge opportunity for retailers to stock a range of sharing bag treats, perfect for the Big Night In occasion.
“More to Share bags from Mars Wrigley Confectionery are the ideal accompaniment, whether watching a scary film at home or at the cinema, now restrictions have been lifted,” suggests Gell.
The confectionery market predicts a large increase in trick or treat participation this year compared with 2020 where strict COVID-19 restrictions were in place. Funsize packs remain a staple for the Halloween occasion, with Mars Wrigley holding the largest share of Halloween funsize sales of 28.1% of the category in 2020 (Kantar).
“Many consumers purchase a mix of chocolate and sugar confectionery so retailers should look to stock a variety of treats that are available in different pack sizes to support consumer missions during the occasion,” Gell advises. “Last year, Mars Wrigley’s most loved brands secured top rankings in the bestselling confectionery lines in funsize – including Malteasers, Milky Way and Skittles.”
Fun size products are a relevant format during Halloween due to their shareability, which saw the format generate £27m in value sales last season alone. Perfect to share with friends and family during a Halloween party or trick or treating activities, Mars Wrigley UK have six of the Top 10 Fun Size SKU’s across blockbuster brands including Mars, Skittles, Maltesers, Twix and Milky Way as well as Fun Size variety packs.
In June, Mars Wrigley launched a brand-new twist on its popular Skittles Giants— Skittles Giants Crazy Sours. Research has shown that fruity confections shoppers expect variety in flavour and texture with Sours being the most incremental flavour after Fruit in the category. Like its counterpart, Skittles Giants Crazy Sours are three times the size of standard Skittles and have a soft chewy centre designed to strike taste buds with sourness, delivering an intense, fruity, mouth-watering flavour – perfect for a trick or treat.
Available in a £1 PMP treat bag (125g), a 141g value pouch and 170g grocery pouch, Skittles Giants Crazy Sours is available in a variety of formats, perfect for the different occasions found within Halloween. Following the success of the Skittles Giants launch last year, the Sours range is designed to appeal to a wider range of shoppers, which in turn can help drive overall category growth.
Susan Nash, Communication Manager at Mondelez International, comments: “Mondelez International is helping retailers build excitement for the 2021 Halloween season with a scarily good line-up, set to capitalise on the return of this seasonal opportunity.”
Despite the challenges lockdown brought to last year’s Halloween season, Mondelez International grew its Halloween market share (Nielsen), with the occasion proving itself a valuable season for convenience retailers.
“As we move closer to normality, it is important retailers take advantage of the full return of the season this year and create some excitement for their shoppers,” Nash says.
“Over Halloween, shoppers will look to embrace returning to the rituals missed during last year’s spooky season, such as buying products for trick or treating or for hosting a family Halloween party. Retailers should stock up on the MDLZ range, including self-eat and sharing products across confectionery and biscuits, to tap into these occasions, offering products for consumers to enjoy independently or to share.”
New to this season are Mini Oreo Spooky Bags – which are larger packs filled with eight treatsize bags containing Mini Oreo, the world’s number one cookie (Euromonitor). The pack-size means the product is great for both Trick or Treating and Halloween parties too. As well as this, Spooky Oreo Rollpack will be available nationwide, which has Oreo’s tasty sandwich biscuit filled with a creamy vanilla flavour centre, combined with a spooky Halloween design. Cadbury Skeleton Fingers are also making a return, adding a seasonal touch to a Cadbury’s classic.
Confectionery will be the must-have category of Halloween 2021, with this year seeing the return of the popular Cadbury Goo Heads, available in Creepy Skeleton, Pumpkin, Frankenstein, Dracula or Werewolf variants. The strikingly-packaged Cadbury Goo Heads are available individually (40g), in a pack of five – which was the number one traditional Halloween SKU of 2020 – or in a 78g bag of Mini Goo Heads, offering value and convenience to customers.
Cadbury Oreoooo will also return for Halloween 2021 in the form of a 72g bag of Oreo Mini Filled Eggs, with Halloween branding designed for strong standout on shelf. The product will help retailers to drive impulse purchases of sharing novelties in the Halloween segment, combining the nation’s favourite chocolate (Nielsen) with the one of the world’s favourite biscuit brands.
As well as this and new for the season, both Cadbury Oreooo and Cadbury Goo Heads bags will be available with cupboard clip strips for retailers, which are 100% recyclable, increasing the opportunity for purchases throughout a store.
In addition to these products, Mondelez International Cadbury Treatsize bags are available. The full portfolio includes Cadbury Family Treatsize – which was the number one chocolate treatsize bag last season (Nielsen) – and Freddo and Friends Treatsize, which both comprise an assortment of Cadbury favourites, perfect for Trick or Treaters. Cadbury Crunchie Treatsize, Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons Treatsize and Cadbury Fudge Treatsize all offer a great addition to Halloween parties at home from much-loved members of the Cadbury portfolio.
Russell Tanner, Marketing and Category director at Valeo Snack Foods, comments: “New for Halloween from the Barratt Brand is the Big Mix and the Fun Mix, and our popular Retro Tub will be available, ideal for delivering value and volume for consumers.”
The Barratt Big Mix Party Bag (1kg, MRRSP £5) will contain an assortment of approximately 100 Barratt sweets including Wham, Fruit Salad and Black Jack chews, Dip Dab lollies, Refreshers and mini bags of Shrimps and Bananas, Dolly Mix and Strawberry Milkshakes.
Including something for everyone, the bag is transparent so what you see is what you get, with no disappointments at an uneven assortment. Each sweet is individually wrapped making it ideal for sharing or handing out at the door. The assortment is clearly labelled as containing no artificial colours and flavours, to reassure parents.
The Barratt Fun Mix (400g, MRRSP £2) is a smaller assortment of the core Barratt favourites: Wham, Fruit Salad and Black Jack chews, Dip Dab lollies and Refreshers.
“This delivers very strong value for money and again the consumer can see exactly what is in the pack ahead of purchasing to avoid disappointments,” adds Tanner.
The Retro Tub (630g, MRRSP £3.50) includes a mix of all the Barratt favourites such as Wham, Fruit Salad and Black Jack chews, Refreshers, Dip Dabs, Shrimps & Bananas and Dolly Mix and Anglo Bubbly. The tub includes something for everyone, sweets are individually wrapped and the reusable tub is convenient to display the selection sweets to trick- or- treaters.
“Eye-catching and well-organised displays should be set up as early as possible,” suggests Tanner. “This will help customers to get into the spirit of the season and will encourage early and repeat purchases, driving additional sales for retailers.”
Halloween displays and seasonal aisles contain more confectionery than ever and through attractive and compelling branding, receive high levels of footfall. Shoppers who may not otherwise visit the confectionery section in a store are happy to walk through the seasonal aisles and pick up sweets they would otherwise pass by. On the other hand, displays also act as a prompt for customers on a very specific shopping mission and who may have forgotten, or not be thinking about, Halloween.
‘By including a variety of brands and formats, retailers can offer customers more choice and a more attractive, diverse display from their seasonal aisles, which ultimately results in more sales across Halloween ranges – not only confectionery,” Tanner advises. “This must appeal to a range of tastes and premiums – while there is a rise in consumers looking for more luxury seasonal items, retailers mustn’t forget that the core Halloween audience want a high volume of treat-sized confectionery which can be given to trick-or-treaters.”
NPD from well-loved brands is likely to perform well as consumers look for exciting confectionery from names they can trust. The trend for retro and nostalgic confectionery continues as many shoppers enjoy sharing their childhood favourites with their children, creating a new generation of fans.
“It is impossible to know what restrictions will look like at Halloween, but we’re expecting that many are hoping to go all out with celebrations given last year’s muted festivities,” adds Tanner. “Consumers’ hygiene awareness is still heightened with Covid, so they will be looking for individually wrapped sweets and assortments. Good value for money propositions will be key, as economic pressures on shoppers remain onerous.”
Gavin Anderson, Head of Sales at Republic Technologies UK, comments: “Seasonality continues to be a key sales driver for retailers, which can be boosted by an increased focus on matches and lighters.
“Virtually every household in the country has a use for matches or lighters at this time of year, as families enjoy key celebrations such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali, providing a major opportunity for sales uplift.”
“As there were restrictions in place for many over the seasonal period last year, people will be preparing to celebrate with family and friends, and the celebrations will be bigger than ever. We are recommending that retailers use these key sales periods to promote lighters and matches as part of a strong seasonal offer.”
Republic Technologies has boosted interest in the household lighters category by launching a range of high-quality Utility, Kitchen and Candle Lighters from iconic brand, Zig-Zag. Each range comes in five vibrant colours and is available in shelf ready packaging to increase visibility with a standout display.
“The UK’s booming candle sector shows no sign of slowing down, particularly during seasonal occasions in the autumn and winter months, presenting retailers with a key sales opportunity for candle lighters which can be boosted by the right range and cross category display,” adds Anderson.
Shoppers have been offered even more choice by Republic Technologies’ introduction of two stylish candle lighter ranges, By candlelight and lumière, backed by a national consumer marketing campaign which has already reached over 4.5 million consumers.
“With strong levels of consumer awareness, and a growing appetite amongst people to make up for lost time by celebrating in style this autumn and winter, we’re confident that we’re giving consumers the choice and performance they’re looking for with our lighters which are stylish, top quality and affordable,” says Anderson.
As sales of matches increase significantly from September through to December (IRI), Republic Technologies continues to invest in its core matches brands. This includes a brand partnership for Cook’s Matches with celebrity chef, Tom Kerridge, now in its fourth year. The extensive consumer campaign, including on pack recipes and a strong programme of social media, has heightened brand awareness.
Republic Technologies’ portfolio of matches also includes household name, Bryant & May Extra Long, ideal for lighting candles, indoor fires and also for outdoor usage, which come in shelf-ready dispenser. These are complemented by Swan Vestas and Ship, each tailored for a range of different usage occasions, indoors and outdoors.