Halloween has become a short but often lucrative sales opportunity in the UK, bakers have reported.
The annual festival has become well established with bakers reporting significant sales spurts that can last several weeks.
Jason Jobling of WT Warren & Son, based in Penzance, Cornwall, said Halloween gave a welcome boost to sales in the relative lull after summer: "Five years ago Halloween used to be a week or two. Now we can do four weeks."
Halloween specials have become a big seller since Warren launched its first products five years ago, said Jobling. This year the company expects to sell about 4,000 of its coffin biscuit a week in its 36 shops, he said. Coffin biscuits are chocolate-coated shortbread topped with a Halloween wafer.
Trevor Mooney, joint MD of baker Nantwich-based Arthur Chatwin, said Halloween was a useful boost to business, although sales did not match those at Easter.
"It’s an important time for us, but it’s a short time," he said. "We can only make it last two weeks."
Chatwins’ products include chocolate sponge ghosts and pumpkin-shaped biscuits.
The Co-operative group’s central buying operation is also entering into the spirit of Halloween, supplying each Co-op shop with a selection of special products and a halloween-themed point-of-sale package. All Co-op stores have Halloween aisle ends.
New this year in Co-op stores are Halloween Treacle and Ginger Loaf, Halloween Mini Jam Tarts and Halloween Fairy Cakes, selling for 99p each or two for £1.50.