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Snack makers should bag an invite to Halloween

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn , 23-Oct-2013
Last updated the 23-Oct-2013 at 17:35 GMT

Health and wacky flavors hold potential for snack firms over Halloween, says Leatherhead analyst. Photo Credit: Hanna Howarth
Health and wacky flavors hold potential for snack firms over Halloween, says Leatherhead analyst. Photo Credit: Hanna Howarth

A retail survey has predicted that $2.08bn will be spent on candy in America this Halloween, but what can snack manufacturers do to get a bite of the spook season action?

Mia Naprta, insight analyst at Leatherhead Food Research, said that there is certainly potential for growth and innovation in the Halloween themed snacks category, yet it is an area that remains relatively untapped.

In general, throughout the year, innovation in candy is more significant compared to snacks, she told BakeryandSnacks.com.

“In terms of new products on the market, according to Mintel’s GNPD database, snacks are still way behind chocolate and sugar and gum categories, with only 29 new product launched globally in the last 12 months, compared to 69 in chocolate and 118 in sugar and gum confectionery categories,” Naprta said.

For snack makers looking to launch new seasonal products for Halloween, there are certain aspects that they should consider, she said.

Trick or healthy treat

A recent Leatherhead survey indicated that consumers are interested in reduction in fat, salt and/or sugar followed by flavor, in terms of food innovation.

With this in mind, Naprta said manufacturers could consider things that are “less bad for you”, for example, low salt formulations, baked rather than fried 

potato snacks or products within the popcorn category, which she said are perceived as being healthier than crisps.

“Another angle that manufacturers might want to take would be interesting or even wacky flavors, which would grab attention of kids and parents alike,” she said. “Furthermore, unusual, colorful packaging is also likely to help product stand out on the supermarket shelves and up in consumers baskets.” 

One example of a Halloween season product launch this year would be Frito-Lay’s glow in the dark Cheetos. Discussing the launch, Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Mintel, said that Frito-Lay was “on point” with the launch. 

2013 Halloween potential 

According to this year’s National Retail Federation (NRF) survey on Halloween spending habits in the US, nearly 158 million consumers will participate in Halloween activities this year which falls short of the reported 170 million people in last year’s survey. Collectively $2.08bn will be spent on candy.

According to the NRF, those celebrating this year will also be spending less, with the average celebrant expected to pay out $75.03 on décor, costumes, candy and fun, down from $79.82 last year.Ho

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