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shop talk

06 October, 2011
with Tracy west
Page 78 

Are you scared about missing out on sales this Halloween? You shouldn't be because even if you haven't room for a full-blown spooky display, you'll probably have space for a few creepy lines.

Talking of creepy, Halloween is one of those occasions that's crept us on us. It used to be Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night that was the big occasion at this time of year, but now it's either Halloween or the two events rolled into one. It seems we've got our American cousins to thank for this!

You can't seem to enter a supermarket at this time of year without tripping over a pumpkin or coming face-to-face with a witch's outfit. In the US there's much talk of a pumpkin shortage because of adverse weather but one farmer in Connecticut has grown a 1,487-and-a-half pound beast. It's not a world record that belongs to a 1,800lb pumpkin. Incredible.

However, if you don't have room for pumpkins (giant or otherwise) there are more manageable items for you to stock.

Confectionery is particularly important because, according to IRI data, in the past five years sweet sales at Halloween have increased by 25%.

Haribo has Spooky Ghosts, while Nestlé is launching its Smarties Pumpkin. Then there's Cadbury's Screme Egg, a line which was successfully trialled in Asda last year. Green goo replaces the traditional yellow crème and the packaging is green too.

At Leaf Confectionery, the Chewits brand has Freaky Faces and Vampire Fangs. Freaky Faces comprise two scary eyes, a nose, vampire fangs and a giant tongue while Vampire Fangs are fruit-flavoured teeth.

UB has lemon & slime Jaffa Cakes bars while Butterkist is doing spooky toffee popcorn. Meanwhile, Kraft's Mini Oreos has its first-ever limited edition for Halloween. Packs feature bats while the biscuits themselves have orange-coloured vanilla cream, apparently to give consumers a fright! I fear that any consumer frightened by orange cream needs to see a doctor!

This Halloween I'll be in the US so won't be able to escape it but, as far as I'm aware, the little monsters aren't allowed to trick or treat in hotels. If they are, they can have a miniature soap or shower cap. They're not having my stash of sweets!