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Halloween Driving Growth and Innovation Across Grocery Retail in the UK

The run up to Halloween in London becomes more exciting each year as the retail sector continues to invest in the event as an important retail occasion. Over the last 20 years Halloween has clearly become an focal winter trading event, one which is, interestingly becoming more popular also in Australia. Retailers, brand owners and innovators continue to push the boundaries around Halloween inspired products creating engaging instore displays and exciting novelty products to deliver that customer experience. The influx of spooky decorations, costumes, and themed products has not only enriched the cultural landscape but also fuelled a thriving retail industry. In this blog, we’ll explore the growing influence of Halloween on the UK’s premium retail sector and how it continues to evolve.

Recognising that the major retailers are increasingly competitive about winning their share of the Halloween trade, Aldi UK as an example are advertising on the radio the price of carving pumpkins and trick or treat bags in the run up to the big occasion, this blog focuses on the premium end highlighting some of the innovation that will influence mainstream retail over the coming seasons, creating growth opportunities for Private label, existing or new brands. Interestingly in contrast to the competitive retail scene  pick your own pumpkins looks to becoming a growth area where families can walk the pumpkin patch and choose their own pumpkins, connecting the childhood experience with British farming and the countryside.

The Evolution of Halloween in the UK

Estimated value at retail in 2021 as £607m then 2022 at £657m the event is significant (almost 2/3rds of the estimated value of Valentine’s Day in the UK) Statista forecast that since 2013 the value of Halloween in the UK retail has increased 4-fold.

Which generation spends the most on Halloween?

Analysis conducted by

Premium retailers’ response

Insights from time in market last week experiencing the range in two of London’s leading retailers last week, Selfridges and Fortnum and Masons, the level of innovation has again increased year on year. Baked goods and confectionary being the clear standouts, highly decorative, brightly coloured, ghoulishly themed individual cakes  alongside traditional cakes available through the instore bakery or café formats, followed by a wide range of chocolate-based confectionary.

Increasingly we are seeing a high standard of craftmanship driving innovation as the most ghoulish products appear more and more realistic, the picture below of the severed fingers an advancement on last year’s eyeballs.

Halloween’s growth has significantly benefited the UK retail sector: 

  1. Seasonal Boost: For retailers, Halloween now represents a critical seasonal boost in revenue. From late September to early November, stores enjoy a steady stream of shoppers seeking Halloween products.
  2. Economic Growth: The surge in Halloween’s popularity has led to increased economic activity, benefiting both large chains and small, independent retailers.
  3. Creativity and Innovation: Halloween encourages retailers to innovate and unleash their creative potential. It has become a platform for unique, themed marketing campaigns and products.
  4. Cultural Impact: Halloween has woven itself into the fabric of UK culture, fostering a sense of community and celebration that transcends retail sales.

The future of Halloween in UK retail

As Halloween continues to gain prominence in the UK, retailers are likely to keep capitalising on the event. We can expect to see even more innovative products, experiences, and marketing campaigns targeted at inspiring todays’ consumers.

The key international food trends for Halloween 

Halloween isn’t just about costumes and decorations; it’s also a time for indulging in delicious and sometimes spooky treats. Here are some key food trends for Halloween that have been helping brands deliver growth through the event and creating future opportunities for Private label or contract manufacturers.

  1. Gourmet Halloween Confectionary: While traditional confectionary still reigns supreme, there’s a growing trend toward gourmet and artisanal Halloween sweets. Expect to see specialty chocolates, handcrafted lollipops, and unique flavoured candies.
  2. Healthy Halloween Snacks: Health-conscious individuals are looking for alternatives to the sugar-laden treats. Snacks like apple slices with caramel dip, yogurt-covered pretzels, and homemade fruit popsicles with eerie shapes have gained popularity.
  3. Pumpkin Everything: Pumpkin-themed foods are a Halloween staple. Beyond pumpkin pies and pumpkin spice lattes, you’ll find pumpkin-flavoured ice cream, cookies, and even savory dishes like pumpkin risotto or soup.
  4. Spooky-Themed Desserts: Bakers and pastry chefs are continuing to inspire with spooky desserts. Expect to find cupcakes adorned with edible eyeballs, “mummy” cake pops, and cookies shaped like ghosts and bats.
  5. Witch’s Brews and Elixirs: Halloween-inspired drinks are becoming increasingly popular. Expect to see mocktails and cocktails served in cauldron mugs or beakers, often with dry ice for a foggy effect.
  6. Freaky Milkshakes and Sundaes: Over-the-top milkshakes and sundaes, complete with extravagant toppings like whipped cream “ghosts” and rainbow-colored syrups, are a hit with both kids and adults.
  7. Savoury Halloween Dishes: Halloween isn’t all about sweets. Savory dishes like stuffed bell peppers resembling jack-o’-lanterns and “mummy” wrapped hotdogs or sausage rolls are gaining attention.
  8. International Flavours: Exploring international flavours and traditions for Halloween is on the rise. Mexican Day of the Dead-inspired dishes like sugar skull cookies or Italian-inspired gnocchi “eyeballs” are becoming popular choices.
  9. DIY Halloween Recipes: With the advent of social media and food blogging, many people are turning to DIY Halloween recipes, from making their own caramel apples to baking intricate haunted gingerbread houses.

Looking to see how your business can benefit from the sustained growth within Halloween in the UK, talk to the team at

Prof. Consulting Group

Prof. Consulting Group will help lead your business to success in the Australian food industry with its team of industry-leading experts and extensive range of services.

For more information pls contact or The award winning Prof Consulting Group operates registered offices in Melbourne, Australia and Somerset, the UK.