Blog: HEINEKEN predicts fantastic Halloween sales for UK's second biggest party occasion

With Halloween now the second biggest UK party occasion, after New Year’s Eve[1], there’s few better opportunities to entice groups of customers in to your outlet

  • Consumers are increasingly looking for ‘experiences’ when they visit the on trade, one of the key drivers identified in The Greenpaper by HEINEKEN, ‘Let’s Get Together’, advises that licensees should be capitalising on existing events and holidays such as Halloween, to drive footfall and maximise sales

  • Halloween parties are a great way to do this and will, on average, deliver an incremental £452 more profit for outlets compared to a usual Friday or Saturday evening[2]

With Halloween on the horizon HEINEKEN UK has predicted a big boost to UK on-trade outlets, with the spooky celebration now representing the second biggest party occasion in the UK. This prediction comes from HEINEKEN’s largest piece of category research ever conducted - The Greenpaper, a new category initiative, made up of six growth drivers, predicted to boost the UK On-trade by over £1bn by 2021.

This year, 31st October falls on a Wednesday, however smart operators should look to extend the festivities by celebrating with a big party occasion on Saturday 27th, followed by Halloween themed activations throughout the following week.

“Let’s Get Together’ is one of the six growth drivers HEINEKEN has identified, that offers licensees tips and advice on how to grow their cider and beer business over key seasonal periods and occasions. Exploring this key growth driver will provide drinkers with richer experiences and encourage more people to visit the pub, more often and spend more.

Halloween parties are a great way to do this and will, on average, deliver an incremental £452 more profit than a usual Friday or Saturday night[3]. So, with one in every five 18-34 year old’s going out on Halloween, this age group represents a valuable opportunity, as they also spend 30% more than the average late night customer[4].

With just a few simple fixes, on-trade outlets can reap the rewards that come with Halloween. Here are 5 Top Tips for ‘Fangtastic’ Halloween Sales:

Expect a crowd - With extra business expected, it is important to avoid any long queues or overcrowding issues. Ensure you have extra staff and additional seating available, perhaps even consider table service to avoid congestion at the bar and ensure speed of serve

Refine your audience - Halloween is one of the most age targeted celebrations of the year. Lay on a party for younger consumers (18-24 YO) and your family/older diners won’t show up. Best advice is to pick the group you are aiming for and then go all out to please them. If possible, separate your audiences by using different bars or a function room. You can extend the occasion – making Saturday for the big party, but introducing themed food during the week and creating a spooky cocktail menu. Halloween is primarily a fun event so remember to include humour and games in some of your more family- friendly outlets.

What’s your big idea? - Remember that customers are looking for experiences, so you need to be original. If your brain won’t stretch beyond ‘Halloween’ party, think of a theme that works:

  • Strongbow Carnevil

  • Celebrate the ghosts in our haunted pub

  • Spells, potions and spooky cocktails evening

Larger serves for larger groups - Halloween and other busy seasonal events cause increased congestion at the bar. To avoid this, think about different drink formats such as jugs and pitchers of beer and sharing cocktails to decrease the number of visits to the till without losing on sales

Halloween happiness - With many customers dressing up for the occasions and in large groups of friends, punters are likely to be in high spirits, so brief your staff to encourage customers to trade up to a more premium beer or cider

Jerry Shedden, Category and Trade Marketing Director at HEINEKEN, said: “Halloween provides the perfect opportunity to boost your sales ahead of the Christmas period. As the second busiest party night of the year, consumers will be planning now for places to socialise with friends. With our helpful tips and brand activation from Strongbow, licensees can be confident in their offering, tapping into the latest trends and data, helping their outlet stand out from the crowd and increase sales.”

Running from 22nd October to 5th November, Strongbow will be resurrecting its CarnEvil campaign, helping licensees create their own Halloween celebrations with an online asset library and themed POS support kits. The campaign taps into the huge number of consumers that want to dress up with a range of creepy eye patches to giveaway. Halloween revellers will be in with a 1 in 4 chance of winning a CarnEvil eye patch, simply by purchasing a pint of Strongbow Original or Dark Fruit.

[1] Mintel

[2] Twelve Halloween 2017 Primary Research

[3] Twelve Halloween 2017 Primary Research

[4] Twelve Halloween 2017 Primary Research

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