Halloween’s New-Found Popularity is Frighteningly Good for Business

Halloween has become the third-biggest retail event in the UK, with businesses of all kinds taking advantage of the trend by adapting current products or introducing new offerings for eager customers. Take a walk along any high street or browse the net at this time of year and you’ll find it almost impossible to avoid […]

Halloween has become the third-biggest retail event in the UK, with businesses of all kinds taking advantage of the trend by adapting current products or introducing new offerings for eager customers.

Take a walk along any high street or browse the net at this time of year and you’ll find it almost impossible to avoid the tell-tale signs of an annual event lurking just around the corner.

Whether it be a window display or a hero website banner, you’ll be left in no doubt that Halloween is upon us. Yes, you might hear people grumble that the seasonal products seem to be launched earlier every year, but those of us in business know that a timely marketing campaign with sufficient runtime behind it makes complete sense.

Not so long ago, Halloween in the UK was largely overlooked. Certainly, children would pester their parents to go out trick or treating, but that was solely so they could collect free sweets or money from their neighbours — I’m sure they’d be happy to do so on any given day of the year. Nowadays though, it seems that a greater number of British adults are adopting the undoubtedly Americanised spirit of All Hallows Eve too (see www.marketingweek.com/2017/10/27/why-halloween-is-now-crucial-to-some-uk-brands), which opens up new revenue streams for savvy businesses.

There has been a significant rise in sales of adult Halloween costumes, while companies both traditional and contemporary tailor or introduce new services to cater for the growing popularity. One space that has truly taken advantage of the October occasion is online gaming, which has a strong tradition of developing topical products. Developers never miss a trick with their themes, treating their customers to games they return to time and time again — one of the most popular this year comes in the form of ‘Halloween Fortune’ from Paddy Power at casino.paddypower.com/game/halloween-fortune-cptn, which sees players take on witches, potions, skulls and black cats in the name of seeking the jackpot (or should that be jack-o-lantern-pot?).

Another adult-only arena that has linked sales growth directly with Halloween is the alcohol industry. Sascha Cordes, a senior brand manager with Budweiser UK, had this to say: “The fact we’ve seen such strong sales growth for beer on Halloween proves it isn’t just an occasion for kids.”

“People of all ages want to have a unique experience and adults will spend big on great experiences,” he added. “This isn’t just a US trend anymore either – we’re now activating major campaigns in China and all across Europe. Brand affinity is key for us. Moving forward, we want Budweiser to be the brand that’s associated with Halloween parties.”

Statistics provider Statista’s own data, which can be viewed at www.statista.com/statistics/330279/halloween-products-expenditure-in-the-united-kingdom-uk-forecast, also points to strong growth for Halloween-themed products in the UK, with figures leaping from £230 million in 2013 to a predicted £419 million for the 2018 period.

Love it or loathe it, Halloween has quickly gone from minority player to the third-biggest retail event in the UK and its popularity shows no signs of waning any time soon: a scary thought for businesses reluctant to move with the trend.

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