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Halloween 2015 bigger than ever?

In the run up to the Halloween and over the weekend itself, it struck me that Halloween seems bigger, ‘badder’ and bolder than ever before.

In mid-October we heard of a pumpkin shortage via The Grocer as farmers struggled to meet demand after heavy rain in August, and from that point in the month every newspaper seemed poised to report the gruesome tricks and celebrity dress-ups that were due to unfold in the run up to this celebration of all things spooky.

Supermarkets also seemed to step up their game as they stocked themselves to the rafters with costumes, treats and even Halloween pet supplies! And it’s easy to see why they would make the effort as Mintel data estimates that close to £300million will be spent on Halloween this year, while Tesco estimates that the amount could be even higher at around £400million based on sales forecasts and market share.

So how is Halloween comparing to our other, more traditional, holidays? According to Tesco UK’s marketing director, Halloween is becoming one of the main seasonal events with sales overtaking Valentine’s Day in terms of High Street sales and even eclipsing ‘Mother’s Day’.

And PR and marketing teams across the country have produced some pumpkin-smashing campaigns this year, from Airbnb offering a one night’s stay in the largest cemetery in the world, to Burger King’s black burgers and Asda’s virtual reality horror house. In Cirkle HQ all hands were on deck to send delicious Cadbury Cake broomsticks to key influencers and media with some frighteningly good results so far.

So why are we all going crazy for this once-niche holiday? Are we looking for an excuse to party in the slow and quiet time between summer and Christmas?

Having done some reading up, it seems that the spokesperson for Tesco would suggest that the event has been adopted by adults as a great excuse for a party! Consumer website, This Is Money, also speculates that a large reason for this trend towards celebrating Halloween is that those who grew up enjoying Halloween from the 1990s onwards have grown up and are likely to now celebrate it with their children, either throwing parties or taking them ‘trick or treating.’
Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure, retailers certainly won’t be backing away from the holiday anytime soon and I can’t blame them!
So gone are the days of this being a niche event. Perhaps we should expect for it to overtake Christmas in 2016? Watch this scary space…

Clare Wildman
Senior Account Manager

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