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Oct 04, 2017

Dare to scare

by Helen Tarver - Senior Account Manager

Dare to scare

Christmas is the uncontested winner of the retailer event calendar race however, another holiday has been rapidly climbing the ranks over recent years and is fast approaching… Halloween.

Now believed to be the fourth biggest event in the UK retail calendar, back-to-school promotions are being cleared from seasonal aisle shelves mid-September to make way for Halloween offers. The challenge for brands and retailers is managing stock linked to a specific season if sales don’t deliver and leave Halloween packs on shelf in the lead up to Christmas. So who is taking the plunge this year?

Traditionally confectionery brands have been the forerunners of limited edition Halloween packs with annual seasonal SKUs released by the likes of Skittles with Darkside flavour variants and Starburst Tear and Scare bags. More recently however the Halloween fever has been reaching further and further into the world of FMCG.

Fanta and Yollies are returning to limited edition Halloween packs this year with each brand driving engagement through additional creative user content. The latter is offering free glow in the dark stickers in packs to decorate the occasion and Fanta has daily exclusive spooky Snapchat filters available via on-pack codes.

A more daring seasonal SKU is a recipe change such as Baileys’ Pumpkin Spice product positioned as the perfect ingredient for a pumpkin latte. Luckily this autumnal rather than Halloween positioning makes the product a far cry from a witch’s brew and more retailer shelf-friendly as a result.

In the world of prize promotions, this year families are being offered a chance to win overnight family stays at Thorpe Park’s Halloween Fright Night events with snacking brand Fridge Raiders. The theme park has partnered with The Walking Dead for 2017 with two new mazes themed around the TV series being set up exclusively for the event. Promotional Fridge Raiders packs are now on sale communicating the offer alongside 2-4-1 entry to the park with every purchase.

The Mexican Day of the Dead festival is the Latin American equivalent celebration on November 1st and presents an opportunity for Latin brands to align with their heritage around this time. Amigos Tequila Beer is looking to do exactly that through running an on-pack promotion with weekly prizes of tickets to UK Day of the Dead festivals and party kits for home events.

Beyond the world of retail, Wahaca restaurants are running their second annual Day of the Dead event this year. The event has taken on a humanitarian angle for 2017 as the chain vows to donate a portion of the profits to victims of the recent earthquake in Mexico.

Outside of the food arena and back to the celebration of Halloween, hair and beauty brands are also benefitting from the new autumn holiday obsession. Not satisfied with fake blood and white face paint, consumers are looking for more inspiration and beauty brands are stepping in to fill the gap. This VO5 and Superdrug POS and FSDU offers an unusual solution whilst tapping into the very current unicorn trend to ensure less scary but equally hair raising results.

So some usual and unusual suspects lined up for Halloween 2017. Let’s see if they are in for a tricky leftover stock problem or sell-out Halloween treat on the retailer shelves after the holiday!

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Packaging, On-Pack, Marketing, Retail

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