Halloween has steadily grown in popularity year on year in the UK, in part due to the popularity of the ‘holiday’ season in the US. Halloween is now the third biggest seasonal event (behind Christmas and Easter) so it’s no wonder retailers are looking to cash in. In 2013 Brits spent £129 million on food at Halloween, rising to £132 million in 2014. 2016 is expected to be the biggest yet. Halloween shoppers spent an average of £33 each (Source: Verdict) on products in 2015. In total the worth of Halloween overall to business this has increased by 3000pc since 2001.
So what are retailers doing to market their food products for the Halloween season? Well there are generally two simple options: take a regular all-year-round product and either: a) change the packaging to a Halloween theme, or b) change one of the ingredients to make it Halloween themed. Few brands create whole new products given the longevity of the spooky season and the cost of production but this is now proving more cost-effective due to the rise in sales year-on-year.
The cheapest and simplest option is to change the packaging design for a limited time.
New for this year is the Cadbury Ghost (or Ghooost) Egg which I designed (for Marks Design). It’s a standard Cadbury Creme Egg but without the yellow yolk. Previously years Cadbury’s made the Screme Egg which featured a green yolk but this product is now discontinued.
Mr Kipling have been running their Limited Edition seasonal ranges for a few years now. These Fiendish Fancies are unique flavours for the season and also feature an eye-catching scary design theme.
McVitie’s Jaffa Cake Bars are also available in a unique Halloween flavour (Batty Blackcurrant) alongside a repackaged standard flavour (Fang-tastic orange).
Sainsbury’s and Tesco take standard chocolate footballs and re-wrap them as eyes and pumpkins. It’s worth noting that the Sainsbury’s Trick or Treat range SRPs are a nice design.
Some brands offer a full bespoke product such as Nestlé’s Milkybar ghosts.
Standard products in a bulk ‘trick or treat’ pack are popular with manufacturers too as these Swizzels and Smarties packs show.
It’s interesting to see that purple and orange are now the generic associated colours for Halloween, much as red and green are associated with christmas, and yellow and green for Easter. Everything distils down into a design formula eventually.