Harvest season has arrived, and with it comes fiery leaves, moody skies and open wallets ready to spend on decorations, costumes, food and more. According to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, overall spending for Halloween 2016 is projected to hit a record $8.4 billion. More than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, and though the act of trick-or-treating only began in the 1950′s as a way to cull youths away from the debauchery that usually occurred on Halloween night, companies quickly took notice and began commercializing individually wrapped candies. It wasn’t long before Halloween packaged products of every category filled the aisles of mass, drug and retail stores.
How do brands actively engage consumers during the spend heavy holiday?
1 – Knowing the Consumer Base
2 – Being Creative
When launching a seasonal product, brands must ensure they are maintaining the tenets of the brand image, while offering innovative ways to interact with current and potential consumers.
- Does the product fit within the brand image and story?
- Will the product add brand value and engage current consumers?
- Will the product increase trial purchases by potential consumers?
Brands such as Brach’s, TruMoo, Love Grown and Black Forest Organic have taken the seasonal product and packaging sales test with a variety of scare-ific products to delight the taste buds of consumers.
As the arguably most loathed and loved candy nationwide, candy corn still reigns supreme as the #1 fall seasonal candy. According to the National Confectioners Association, almost 35 million pounds of candy corn will be manufactured this year, with 15 million pounds being sold during Halloween week alone. Brach’s, America’s #1 candy corn maker continues to dominate the category with its innovative flavor profile. The portfolio has expanded to include Peanut Butter, Caramel, Sea Salt Chocolate, Apple, Caramel Macchiato and even a French Toast flavor that launched this year. With a passionate consumer base that loves everything candy corn, Brach’s has exceeded its consumers’ expectations, supplying them with creative flavors that align with current food trends. The packaging utilizes a rich fall color palette with warm orange and brown hues and a subtle pattern of leaves in the background. Tasty food and product imagery draw consumers in and telegraph the unique flavor offerings.
With an objective to provide families with delicious and nutritious beverage alternatives, Dean Food’s TruMoo has built a portfolio of every day and seasonal offerings that have led it to become the nation’s leader in ready-to-serve flavored milks. For Halloween, TruMoo releases Orange Scream, an Orange Vanilla flavored milk inspired by an orange frozen pop with vanilla ice cream. The nostalgic flavor has become a consumer favorite, being re-released annually. “At Dean Foods, we strive to bring our fans products that they can feel confident about serving their families, especially during the Halloween season,” said Greg Schwarz, Vice President of Marketing, Dean Foods. “TruMoo Orange Scream is the perfect drink you definitely won’t have to trick your kids into drinking.” Spooky package illustrations and a cleverly devised logo with an orange and cream frozen pop, allow the limited offering to stand out on shelf.
Love Grown, an ascending brand out of Boulder, CO disrupted the wheat and corn filled cereal aisle with the introduction of a bean-based cereal line in 2014. The success led to a product line expansion into kids cereals – Sea Stars, Comet Crispies and Polar Puffs. The creative cereal shapes, playful packaging illustrations, characters and bright logos positioned the brand to compete against conventional competitors and gratify its current family centric consumer base with more healthy options. Inspired by Love Grown Co-Founder Alex Hasulak’s father’s love for Halloween, the brand created a special edition Bats & Boos cereal for Halloween. “We wanted to create a super fun and super delicious Halloween cereal that is both wheat-free and corn-free, higher in protein, and lower in sugar,” said Maddy Hasulak, Co-Founder of Love Grown. The special edition package utilized the same illustration style that consumers love from the kids cereal line.
The trend towards organic farming practices and products continues to soar, expanding into all food and beverage categories. In 2015, total organic product sales totaled $43.3 billion, up 11 percent from the previous year’s record according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2016 Organic Industry Survey. Recognizing the potential of organic’s role in the candy aisle, Ferrara Candy Co. relaunched its candy and fruit snack brand Black Forest under an organic halo. “We invested more than $25MM in the development of a complete organic infrastructure to produce high quality, delicious tasting organic confections offered at a reasonable premium compared to non-organic versions. This investment enables us to continue to innovate and expand our organic offering,” said Todd Siwak, CEO, Ferrara Candy Co. This fall provided a timely opportunity for Black Forest Organic to compete with conventional Halloween candy and treat packs for the first time, offering organic alternatives for a holiday typically bursting with artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. The packaging architecture utilizes the tree line equity, tasty product images and vibrant colors of the everyday Black Forest Organic line, and fuses it with Halloween imagery to create eye-catching designs.
Brach’s, TruMoo, Love Grown and Black Forest Organic are just a few examples of how brands are leveraging their equity to actively engage consumers during the celebratory Halloween season. By understanding their consumer base and being creative with their product offerings, these brands are seizing and succeeding at increasing sales with Halloween products.
Brach’s packaging architecture and TruMoo, Love Grown and Black Forest Organic brand identity and packaging featured in this article was designed by Hughes Design Group. To learn more about the packaging industry, please visit www.HughesLink.com.