Research Shows Young Adults Fuelling the Appetite for a Growing Halloween Market …

Estimated to be Worth Over £283.4m to UK retailers this year


…60 percent of families will be getting involved: Expectations of retailers to meet demand is high…


New research investigating UK household shoppers’ plans for Halloween 2014 has been launched today by leading retail and shopper marketing agency, Savvy Marketing. The survey reveals how shoppers plan to celebrate, how much they expect to spend and what they expect to see from retailers.


Speaking about the research Alastair Lockhart, Insight Director at Savvy Marketing comments:  “Halloween has grown to become one of the most lucrative events in the annual retail calendar. In 2014 just over one-third of shoppers tell us that they are likely to celebrate Halloween, and based on analysis of our research, we estimate the event will be worth £283.4m to UK retailers this year. It’s really not surprising that retailers continue to ramp up their investment in the event year-on-year, scaling up space and range allocation, and becoming increasingly ambitious in their in-store and online execution. The event also continues to attract new players to join the market each year.”


Key research findings:


Who plans to get involved?

  • Families have a higher propensity to get involved (60 percent of families with children).
  • Young adult’s enthusiasm for the event is also fuelling the appetite for Halloween purchases and nearly half of 18-35 year olds tell us that they plan to celebrate Halloween in 2014.
  • In terms of specific retailers, 41 percent of Asda’s customers are planning to get involved in the event – the highest of all the supermarkets listed. Asda continues to benefit from the influence of its parent Wal-Mart, which means it can import Halloween retail innovations from the US. This compares with 35 percent of Morrisons shoppers and Tesco and Sainsbury’s shoppers each with 31 percent of customers getting involved.


How do shoppers expect to celebrate?

  • Of those planning to get involved, the majority (72 percent) plan to buy sweets, chocolates or other small treats.
  • 41 percent intend to decorate their homes, and 37 percent say they will buy fancy dress items.
  • Making cakes or sweets was on the agenda for 34
    percent of shoppers.
  • 26 percent are planning to buy party food, whilst 21 percent are going to make a special themed dinner for the family. 
  • Just under one-third plan to attend a Halloween party, with around one-fifth saying they’ll host a party.


Broadening commercial opportunity – By weighting shoppers’ reported spending intentions to all UK households the research estimates the following:

  • Costumes and sweets are worth £64m and £54m to the market respectively.
  • Shoppers are planning to spend a substantial £117m on food and drink for parties and other get-togethers.
  • Shoppers plan to spend £49m on home decorations for this occasion.


Expectations of retailers

  • Shoppers want to be inspired in-store, with 63 percent of those planning to celebrate Halloween expecting to see a dedicated aisle at their supermarket.
  • Bargain trick or treat packs are of interest to 47 percent of shoppers.
  • 44 percent would like to see retailers provide special Halloween related products.
  • 38 percent are expecting retailers to have special offers and coupons relating to the event.
  • An activity instore such as free face painting was of interest to 28 percent of shoppers.


Advance planning

  • Two-thirds of Halloween shoppers intend to plan their purchases at least a week in advance.
  • 17 percent of shoppers will leave it to a few days before the event and 15 percent will be leaving it to the very last minute.


Lockhart continues: “In light of continuing weakness in the grocery market and an increasingly aggressive competitive threat from discounters, the importance attached to events like Halloween among the big four has escalated. These events allow the leading players to take advantage of their larger store spaces to inspire shoppers and create a little extra excitement, which discounters struggle to match due to limited space. That said, discounters have a proven track record of working the space they have incredibly hard, meaning that keen pricing will play a key role in determining this year’s Halloween winners and losers. There’s also growing competition from high street retailers to take account of, including from the likes of Poundland and TK Maxx.


Retailers will undoubtedly be hoping that rising consumer confidence will translate into strong Halloween trading this year and mark a solid start to the all-important ‘golden quarter’. The fact that Halloween falls during half-term in most parts of the country this year, will certainly be welcomed by retailers. 


Looking at recent trading data, the market could do with a boost to what has, so far, been a lacklustre 2014 for the leading grocers.”


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