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Halloween: why Aussie FMCG brands should carve their space in the million dollar market

Halloween is becoming an increasingly popular holiday with Australians, with consumers expected to spend an estimated $159 million on confectionery for the holiday this year, according to new data released by Mars Wrigley Australia.

Despite the long-held perception by many that Halloween is ‘too American’, Australians are beginning to put their own stamp on Halloween.

Woolworths reports that watermelon carving is the big trend among its consumer base, with the retailer expecting to sell 95 per cent more watermelons over the Halloween shopping period when compared to September. While Coles reveals that pineapples are also proving to be popular items for carving with Aussie consumers.

But are Australian FMCG brands making the most of this multi million dollar opportunity?

A survey of over 1000 Australian adults commissioned by Mars Wrigley Australia and conducted by Pure Profile found that the average confectionery spend among consumers is $21.89.

Mars Wrigley said it sees a sales increase each year in the lead up to Halloween and this year has distributed over six million party share packs to stores.

“We’ve seen big growth in our chocolate sales over the last few years leading up to Halloween,” general manager Mars Wrigley Australia, Andrew Leakey said.

“Spending time together, sharing treats and connecting with friends and family, is what it’s all about. It’s pleasing to see many Australians view Halloween as a reason to come together and celebrate.”

Beyond confectionery, soft drink Fanta stands out as a brand that has embraced All Hallows Eve, most likely due to its bright orange colour.

At the launch of last year’s campaign, Fanta UK marketing manager, Rosalind Brown, said “What Coca-Cola is to Christmas, Fanta is to Halloween.”

Fanta’s Australian campaign this year features popular Tik-Tok influencers who will be urging Aussies to share their creative costumes on the platform.

Retail view

Coles data shows that 1 in 3 adults will take part in Halloween this year, with participation doubling in the last three years. Of the Coles customers who do celebrate, half of these will buy confectionery.

“We’ve seen Halloween grow enormously in popularity and our customers are keen to put an Aussie twist on their celebrations, Greg Davis Coles chief executive of commercial and express told Inside FMCG.

Davis echoed the watermelon trend seen at Woolworths but also said pumpkins and pineapples are proving popular.

“We are expecting to sell 260 tonnes of Aussie carving pumpkins, with many customers pairing their pumpkins with carved Aussie pineapples and watermelons,” Davis said.

The retailer has increased its Halloween range across the store and has introduced a new baking accessory range.

Woolworths said it is expecting to sell more than 200 tonnes of pumpkins across its stores nationally, representing a 20 per cent uplift compared to last year.

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