Halloween 2014: Retailers to sink their teeth into sales of £240 million

October 15, 2014

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Until relatively recently Halloween was best known as an American tradition, but it seems that many Brits are now firmly digging their claws into the hubble bubble holiday. New research from Mintel reveals that retail sales of Halloween products reached £230 million in 2013 and are expected to grow to around £240 million this year.

In 2013, more than two-fifths (43%) of Brits joined in the fiendish festivities by spending on products or services for the occasion and it seems that it is younger shoppers are the most enthusiastic for the ghoulish goings-on. Indeed, the number of Brits spending on products or services for Halloween rises to as many as three fifths (58%) of 16-24’s and over half (55%) of those aged 25-34.

Furthermore, Mintel’s research shows that it is British parents who on Halloween night are the most likely to have a fright as three in five (60%) bought products or services for Halloween in 2013, rising to 73% of Brits with children aged 6 to 12. Whilst two in five (40%) parents bought trick or treat confectionery, one in four (25%) bought fancy dress. However it seems that it is not only parents who are getting into the spirit of Halloween as more than one in four (28%) Brits bought trick-or-treat confectionery in 2013 and one in seven (14%) bought fancy dress. In addition, one in ten (10%) bought decorations, 9% bought special food or drink to have at home and 8% went out to a party or event.
John Mercer, Senior European Retail Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Halloween is firmly established on the retail calendar and continues to grow in importance, but it is an event marked by frugal shopping from consumers: average spend is low and confectionery is by far the most popular category to spend on. To grow the market, there is value in focusing on the demographics already clued up to the event – young adults and families – and nudging up their spending by encouraging small-ticket confectionery shoppers to trade up to non-food items. Alternatively, retailers can try to draw in more consumers, such as older shoppers (including grandparents) and consumers without children, who are currently less likely to be spending.”

“For stores, the gains go beyond a bite of the £240 million market: Halloween-themed ranges, merchandising and in-store events can have a “Santa’s grotto” effect, providing shoppers with reasons to visit stores, driving footfall and encouraging impulse purchases.” John continues.

In addition, the UK food and drink sector seems to be tapping into the spooky season as the number of food and drink products launched with a mention of Halloween grew 263% between 2009 and 2013. Looking beyond the UK, it seems that the season’s excitement is also spreading, with the number of food and drink products launched globally referencing the event growing by 194% in the five year period to 2013.

Chris Brockman, Research Manager, Food & Drink EMEA at Mintel, said:

“The profile of Halloween has started to climb in the UK in recent years and Britons are increasingly embracing this occasion. Situated between the end of summer and the run-up to Christmas, Halloween offers consumers a reason to celebrate during a relative lull in the calendar year. It appears that Halloween has evolved from being a largely child-focused holiday with a focus on trick-or-treating. Adults have now adopted it as a fully-fledged excuse to throw parties and dress up in ghoulish outfits.”

Finally, it seems that it is the suburban areas who are the most likely to hear a knock in the night as three in 10 (29%) UK consumers living in this area bought trick or treat confectionery for Halloween in 2013, compared to 25% of those living in a village or rural area. In urban areas however, residents are more likely to be doing the monster mash with 9% of consumers in this area either hosting or going to a party or night out, compared to 4% of those living in a village or rural area.

Note to Editors

NB: Halloween products include themed trick or treat confectionery, fancy dress, decorations, toys and games, special food or drink to have at home (eg party food) and fireworks.

Halloween services include hosting or going out to a party, event or night out.

Mintel’s Seasonal Shopping UK 2014 report is available to purchase priced £1750.

Press review copies of the report and interviews with Senior European Retail Analyst, John Mercer, are available on request from the press office.

Mintel News

For the latest in consumer and industry news, top trends and market perspectives, stay tuned to Mintel News featuring commentary from Mintel’s team of global category analysts.

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