Halloween is a holiday that has slowly immigrated from the United States and now has a firm grip on Britain. Year after year, households are spending more on spooky festivities. Businesses are jumping on board with the trend and recent acceptance of this American holiday. We are seeing more seasonal businesses and products produced each year. Businesses must have a card payment solution this October to deal with the predicted influx of spending. At UTP, we offer a range of card payment machines, such as portable card machines and countertop card machines. Make sure you treat and don’t trick your customers this Halloween by ensuring they can pay by card.
During this time of year, business seemingly boom rather than wilt and dry out like the leaves on our trees. This spooky season seemed set to fail. The summer’s drought led to a shortage of pumpkins due to the harvests not wielding their usual amount of produce. This year’s harvest has been reduced by a third thanks to weeks of hot days in the office without rain relief. A spookier announcement is that on October 31st when parents and children across the country are putting on their witch’s hats and vampire fangs, ready to knock on neighbours’ doors, we will have a trick or treat from our government. In typical Monday fashion, Jeremy Hunt will be presenting his new fiscal strategy alongside economic and fiscal forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility on Hallows eve.
Pumpkins themselves are a time-limited product and market
However, no matter the pumpkin shortage and the horrors of our recent political climate, this year’s Halloween is set to break records. With Britain expected to spend £28.95 million on pumpkins this Halloween, up 15% from 2021. This could be due to the cost of pumpkins rising amidst the cost of everything creeping up. The average price of a pumpkin has risen 22p in the last year, now sitting at an average of £1.69. Pumpkin farmers have spoken about the price increase and how it is a necessary evil. The increased cost is due to the increased input costs. Fuel prices have hit everyone this year, especially farmers who must fill their tractors with diesel.
Pumpkins themselves are a time-limited product and market. It holds immense value for households in October and then plummets on November 1st, with them not being in high demand until the following October. This fast demand quickly evaporates, making for the most seasonal of vegetables. Additionally, farmers have had a higher cost of fertiliser because Russia invaded Ukraine and the war that followed.
These prices may not be enough to stop our Halloween-loving nation. Statista, regardless of recent price hikes and tightened household budgets, has predicted that retail expenditure on Halloween products in the UK this year will be £687 million, a rise on last year’s £607 million. Britain is mirroring and incorporating American spending and retail habits. First, with the ever-increasing popularity of Halloween, and then follows the November spending holiday Black Friday.
Is Halloween a commercial opportunity or a fun festival?
The upcoming weeks will be hectic for businesses that provide a special Halloween service. Halloween events such as pumpkin patches and fright nights in theme parks continue to be visited. During the pandemic, Halloween events morphed. Drive-in cinemas showing horror classics popped up and filled the void of frightening fun many of us missed. Halloween traditions are centred around business. Businesses selling Halloween decorations, home décor, clothing from costumes to more casual spooky clothes, food such as baked treats, and, perhaps most importantly, sweets.
With the rise of social media, no Halloween party or event is complete without an Instagram-worthy display of cakes and treats decorated as ghosts and ghouls. We’ve seen the popularity of wreaths, no longer reserved for Christmas, decorated with pumpkins and cobwebs. Table displays are filled with candles and decorative dishes. This high demand for slightly scary but primarily sweet décor means that businesses providing these services will see their products flying, or floating, off the shelves.
Perhaps after the last few years we all need to turn away from the horrors of reality and turn towards things that scare us less: Werewolves, Frankenstein, and Vampires! Halloween might be what we all need to make our own spooky world for a weekend. In the debate of whether Halloween is a commercial opportunity or a fun festival, we may want to believe in the latter and indulge in pumpkin-spiced lattes and snack-sized packets of sweets.
Take a sustainable stance on pumpkin carving this year
One scary fact from this time of year is that our beloved and sought-after pumpkins go to waste in their millions! Only 1 in 5 pumpkins are repurposed, meaning 14.5 million pumpkins go to waste yearly. This year take a sustainable approach to pumpkin carving. Consider saving those seeds to clean and bake for a delicious and healthy snack. Set aside the pumpkin flesh for tasty baked treats. For the offcuts and eventually the pumpkin, compost!