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UK sales of Halloween fancy dress costumes soar

Halloween costumes fly off the shelves as pumpkins and confectionery fall in 2014.

Dressing up at Halloween is becoming more popular, according to global market and shopper intelligence firm IRI, which shows that sales for fancy dress costumes this year have risen 25% in UK supermarkets. The popularity is such that the market for Halloween costumes is now worth nearly £11m to grocery retailers, up from £8.7m in 2013.

However, it seems that the more traditional activities like pumpkin carving are losing out, with sales for squash and pumpkins falling by -8.8% from £10.5m in 2013 to £9.6m in 2014.

Halloween confectionery sales also fell significantly by more than -18%, although the sweets and gums category overall rose by a modest 0.6% since 2013 and is now worth more than £83m in sales, driven by the number of people trick-or-treating on 31 October.

Tim Eales, strategic insight director at IRI commented: “As a whole, the supermarket sector is struggling in the market. However, the unstoppable trend for dressing up at Halloween, which is becoming more popular year on year, is boosting what has become a very lucrative market for retailers and manufacturers.”

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