Bakers have reported that sales boomed over Halloween, with the strongest sales ever this year.

David Smart, managing director of the 62-shop Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery in Bolton told British Baker that it had been an “exceptional” and “amazing” Halloween, with decorated gingerbread biscuits the big seller.

He commented: “Halloween is going to be bigger than Christmas one day! Sales have been growing every year for the last 10 years. We really go to town on it, with ghouls and ghosts and vampires.”

The timing of Halloween this year, on a Saturday, had also contributed to strong sales, he said.

Meanwhile, Chris Freeman of Dunns Bakery in Crouch End, London told British Baker that Halloween was more successful every year.

He said: “I’d estimate that sales were up 25% on last year this time, Halloween being on a Saturday was a bonus, as we had the whole week of half term to build up to it. In fact, we were doing Halloween all the way through October.”

Party cakes

Best-selling lines were gingerbread and cupcakes, as well as large party cakes.

And a Sainsbury’s spokesperson commented: “2015 was our biggest Halloween range yet, with nearly 300 different products on sale - from fancy dress, to treats and accessories.”

Halloween and the half-term holidays spelled good news for retailers across the board as footfall leapt by 18.3% in the last week of October, according to Ipsos Retail Performance, the global retail and footfall consultant.

Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence, said: “Shops in the north of England saw the sharpest climb in footfall, at 7.8% compared to September. Scotland and Northern Ireland also benefited from a 4.4% increase, followed by the south west and Wales with 4.1%. The south east and London lagged behind other regions, but still reported a rise of 2.8%.

He added; “We’re now into the business end of the year – the so-called Golden Quarter – which ultimately defines the success of any retail year.”