Global Halloween celebrations gather pace with a frighteningly strong array of treats this season
Frighteningly fantastic final preparations are coming together for this year’s Halloween celebrations this weekend, with events and limited edition confectionery set to form part of events around the world writes Neill Barston.
With the largest single market for the spooky season being found in the US, it remains a multi-billion retail experience for the nation, despite the continued backdrop of the ongoing pandemic, which last year prompted cancellation of many events for the season on safety grounds.
However, as our video interview with the National Confectioners Association for 2020 revealed, many families were determined to press ahead with safe celebrations even without traditional trick-or-treating, with this year revealing a similar pattern.
With conditions amid the pandemic improving in recent months, health authorities have issued appropriate guidance regarding Halloween activities, with a recent survey from the NCA finding that 93% of Millennial parents intended to stage events this weekend with their families. In a wider context, the National Retail Federation estimated that the US is set to spend $10.14 overall this year on marking the season.
Manufacturers have risen to the occasion, and as reported this week, Hershey produced special KitKat costumes for the big occasion, as the business gained a pre-halloween boost with its latest net sales of $2.3 billion for the first nine months of the year, up by a total of 6.3% as the segment continues to improve. Some of its standout products included a Witch’s Brew ghoulishly good KitKat Variety, and a special Reese’s pumpkin treat for good measure.
For its part, Mars Wrigley, behind brands such as M&M’S, Snickers and Skittles put in place plans to bring better moments and more smiles to communities in Newark, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Toronto. After helping ensure Halloween 2020 was not cancelled, the company put in place an active outreach programme for its US regions where the company has production facilities, with 82% of consumers planning celebrations according to its findings, and 45% expecting to attend a community party.
“Mars Wrigley is proud to support our local communities,” said Tim LeBel, Chief Halloween Officer at Mars Wrigley. “No matter how you plan to celebrate, we’re making sure consumers have what they need to create better moments this Halloween season.”
Similarly, Ferrero owned brand including Butterfinger and Kinder have also offered their own spooky treats this year, further adding to the fun, as families around the world have sought out a return to engaging with more social gatherings where possible.
John Downs, president of the NCA, said: “Chocolate and candy sales have come roaring back during the 2021 Halloween season as excitement continues to grow and consumers tell us they’re ready to celebrate. 82% of Americans say they plan to celebrate Halloween – including 93% of Millennial parents. And retailers are going strong on Halloween displays this year, with iconic orange and black sets coming back in a big way. Up from 80% in 2020, 87% of people say they will purchase the same amount – or more – of Halloween candy this year. Which all makes sense, because what would the Halloween season be without chocolate and candy?”
In the UK, manufacturers have responded to Halloween with a number of businesses producing special confectionery treats to mark the occasion, with wholesaler Hancocks among those getting into the spirit of the season in expanding its range of sweets considerably, as well as Bird’s Bakery producing an creative range of baked goods for the season.
Meanwhile, within Europe, Germany’s BDSI confectionery association has reported that manufacturers of seasonal items, have also created many goodies this year with which you can sweeten your Halloween night. Whether pumpkins, bats, spiders, monster eyes, Ghosts, vampires or skeletons – are in fruit gum or chocolate form this eerily beautiful confectionery is particularly popular.