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Focus On: Halloween, by Maddie Maynard

Publishing: 1 August

Advertising deadline: 22 July

Download the synopsis

Submissions deadline: 15 July

The story

Halloween will happen this year. But how? Neither retailers nor brands know whether social distancing will still be in place in October. People might still be nervous about trick or treating or attending parties. But they also might want to go wild! So how is the grocery industry preparing? Are suppliers expecting business as usual, another lockdown, or something in between? And how will consumers celebrate the occasion?

Key themes

Overview: how are brands and retailers expecting Halloween to play out this year? Are they anticipating a cautious affair, or do they expect people to go all-out to celebrate the (possible) end of lockdown? How much might shoppers be willing to spend?

Confectionery: Halloween usually sees a raft of spooky sweeties hit shelves, while small format candies suitable for trick or treaters enjoy a sales boost. Will confectioners be innovating as much this year, and are they expecting to shift the usual volumes of treats? What goodies can we expect?

Parties: Halloween is increasingly an excuse for adults to party. Are suppliers expecting the same level of enthusiasm as usual? What innovations can be expected across food, drink and decorations?

Ranging: what approach will the mults be taking to Halloween? Will they go all-out with new food, drink, decorations and costume items, or only pay the event lip service?

Marketing: how are retailers and brands targeting consumers who intend to mark Halloween in a socially distance manner?

Kantar data: using Kantar commentary, we explain retailers’ performances at Halloween in terms of trading share

Costumes: the pandemic will surely spark a plethora of Halloween costumes – some of them more tasteful than others. Will we see faux hazmat suits hit shelves? Will spooky Covid masks go on sale?

Video conferencing: how would a Halloween party work on Zoom or the like? Are brands creating scary backgrounds? Are marketers or even party planners offering advice on the spookiest ways of celebrating online? Will online influencers provide ideas on the most striking looks for a video-based Hallows’ Evening?

Innovations: we identify four new products that have ideally not appeared in The Grocer before including launch date and RSP, and a picture of each.