Customer Behaviour

New research investigating UK household shoppers’ plans for Halloween has been launched today by leading retail and shopper marketing agency, Savvy. The findings indicate that UK shoppers’ interest in getting involved stands at 45%, with total expenditure on the event forecast to reach £387m this year, up 5.5% against 2018.

Alastair Lockhart, Insight Director at Savvy commented: “Spending on Halloween is set to hit £387m this year as the popularity of the event with young adults continues to rise. Spending on food, drink and costumes for parties are all expected to increase. Of those planning to celebrate Halloween, our research indicated that 80% will be buying confectionery to handout, while 37% say they will stay in to watch a spooky film.”

Key research findings from the shoppers who do plan to celebrate Halloween (45% of UK shoppers) include:

Attitudes towards the event:

  • Fewer men will be getting involved in celebrating Halloween than women – 40 compared with 49% respectively.
  • 18-34 year olds are most likely to get involved, with 57% celebrating. This compares to only 25% of 55-74 year olds.

How they plan on getting involved:

  • Amongst those planning to get involved, the vast majority (80%) plan to buy sweets, treats and chocolates.
  • Among this group 43% plan to decorate their homes – the same proportion plan to buy Halloween outfits.
  • 37% will watch Halloween films.
  • 32% will go out ‘trick or treating’.
  • Only six% said they would celebrate with colleagues at work.

How they’ll be spending:

  • The vast majority (88%) of shoppers start planning for Halloween a couple of weeks before the 31st. However, retailers left with stock to clear in the final hours will be pleased to see that 10% say that they plan to leave it to the last minute.

Where they’re looking for inspiration this year:

  • In keeping with previous years, supermarkets are the most popular place for shoppers searching for ideas – with 73% of Halloween shoppers on the hunt for inspiration here.
  • The importance of social media as a source of inspiration continues to increase with 33% looking to Facebook and 32% Google.
  • The 18-34 age group are substantially more likely use social media for inspiration. 44% plan to use Google, 44% Facebook, 39% Instagram and 37% YouTube.

Lockhart concludes “While some retailers have increased the size of their ranges, our retail audit this year uncovered little in the way of real innovation, with most retailers focusing on the core areas of price promotions, themed merchandise and POS materials. Other than a few notable digital initiatives, there is little in the way new inspiration compared to 2018. With Halloween maturing as an event, we suggest levels of innovation and creativity will need to be ramped up if retailers and brands want to see the market continue to grow at the same rate as recent years.”

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