Research company Mintel said the figure spent on the occasion had grown by £10m since 2013 and more than two-fifths (43%) purchased something related to it. In addition, the UK food and drink sector seems to be tapping into the spooky season as the number of food and drink products launched with a mention of Halloween grew 263% between 2009 and 2013.
Mintel also pointed out that younger shoppers were the most enthusiastic with as many as three-fifths (58%) of 16- to 24-year-olds and over half (55%) of those aged 25-34 also buying Halloween-related products – including food and drink.
The study found that more than one in four (28%) bought trick or treat confectionery and 9% bought special food and drink to consume at home. Also, 8% went out to a party or event.
John Mercer, senior European retail analyst at Mintel, said: “Halloween is firmly established on the retail calendar and continues to grow in importance, but it is an event marked by frugal shopping from consumers: average spend is low and confectionery is by far the most popular category to spend on.
“To grow the market, there is value in focusing on the demographics already clued-up to the event - young adults and families - and nudging up their spending by encouraging small-ticket confectionery shoppers to trade up to non-food items. Alternatively, retailers can try to draw in more consumers, such as older shoppers (including grandparents), and consumers without children, who are currently less likely to be spending.”
Chris Brockman, research manager, food and drink EMEA at Mintel, said: “The profile of Halloween has started to climb in the UK in recent years and Britons are increasingly embracing this occasion. Situated between the end of summer and the run-up to Christmas, Halloween offers consumers a reason to celebrate during a relative lull in the calendar year. It appears that Halloween has evolved from being a largely child-focused holiday with a focus on trick-or-treating. Adults have now adopted it as a fully-fledged excuse to throw parties and dress up in ghoulish outfits.”