How can the dairy category make more of occasions? That’s one of the key question we’re tackling in this year’s Dairymen supplement.

Whereas sectors like confectionery and baking have thrown themselves head first into the seasonal occasions market – with activity around Halloween growing especially strongly – the dairy sector is typically more muted in its approach. Even during the all-important Christmas period, it rarely stretches beyond a perfunctory snowflake or a bit of holly thrown onto packs.

In our feature, we analyse precisely what the barriers to greater engagement around occasions are, and how they could be overcome. Plus, we take a look at which parts of the dairy sector are especially well positioned to take advantage of the occasions trend, and which occasions hold the most potential for dairy.

And to get the industry’s creative juices flowing, we teamed up with design consultants Dragon Rouge to come up with two Halloween concepts for the dairy category – Scary Dairy, and The Fromage to Horror.

“We approached the brief in an open manner, wanting to create concepts that were entirely different from one another, and showcased potential angles that dairy brands could use in an extreme way,” explains Dragon Rouge director for brand identity and packaging Barbra Wright. “We felt that it was relatively easy to produce concepts that were associated with Halloween in a generic and obvious way, and so challenged ourselves to take Halloween-themed dairy products as far away from the common clichés as possible.”

Commenting on the Scary Dairy concept in particular, Wright says: “With this concept, we wanted to demonstrate how far the boundaries of the dairy market could be pushed. Using inspiration from a zombie apocalypse, Scary Dairy’s retro-looking products appear to have been forgotten about, as if they have been left on shelf for a significant period of time, and are decaying. In a relatively unexciting and uninteresting category, there is an opportunity for products to open the eyes of consumers, and really shock them as they walk down the supermarket aisle.”

As for The Fromage to Horror, she adds: “This concept parodies cult films associated with Halloween, with inspiration being drawn from the movies’ posters and characters. The designs rely on nostalgia with the products’ names adding theatre and a comedic twist to the original movie name, so it becomes relevant to the dairy market. The concept was born out of wanting to create something that was instantly recognisable, light-hearted and playful.”