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All treat, no trick: Halloween value sales
Halloween value sales   
       
Category  Value (m) %yoy   
Total Halloween  117 2.4  
Chocolate 67 2.9  
Sweets  27 2.5  
Cakes 16 2.3  
Pumpkins 5 -5.3  
       
Source: Kantar Worldpanel, 4 weeks to 5 November 2017 

Halloween can be a powerful driver of both footfall and spend. Last year, Britain forked out £117m on food and drink at the supermarkets in the four weeks to Halloween. That’s 2.4% more than the four-week average for the rest of the year, excluding Christmas.

Spend on chocolate, sweets and cakes continues to grow. That’s not just down to trick or treaters; Brits are also treating themselves at events such as scary films. 

Despite the dip in pumpkin sales, shopping missions for specific food and drink items saw a 9.5% rise in the last full week before the event, suggesting Halloween-specific produce can be a big lure for shoppers. 

Indeed, Morrisons, which ran in-store pumpkin carving sessions and deep-cut deals, saw the greatest share of what Kantar terms ‘specific journeys’ relative to its size during the witching season [4 w/e 5 November 2017].

But getting punters through the door is only part of the challenge. Morrisons also saw spend dip 1.2% (although pumpkin sales were up 10%), due to falling basket size, while the rest of the big four grew. 

Big investment on festive ads and deals, such as two for £7 promotions on chocolate tubs, helped Tesco deliver the greatest big four increase, of 5.9%. Asda, which already has the greatest share of Halloween relative to its size, also yielded a 0.9% increase in spend.

The biggest winner in percentage terms was Aldi, up 16.9%, though its share of Halloween spend is still two percentage points less than its share of grocery.