Impact of COVID-19 on Halloween 2020


To find insights that help to comprehend the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Halloween 2020 and assess how brands are planning to respond to the projected scenario. Research should primarily look at the market from a CPG (confectionery) brand’s perspective.

Early Findings

  • The post-COVID market for CPG products is expected to be determined by the following factors: price sensitivity, digital engagement, attention to wellness and hygiene, addressing the newfound pleasures of nesting at home, and redefinition of purpose.
  • As per the latest available numbers, the initial days of the outbreak proved beneficial for the CPG market in the United States as sales increased by US$8.5 billion during the 2-week period ended on March 21, 2020.
  • As far as the spike in digital engagements were concerned, 25% of the shoppers planned to shop online more frequently and 45% of the global consumers reported to have spent more time on social media.
  • In the United States, while the web-only retailers have experienced a 52% increase in orders, brick-and-mortar retailers have seen a 56% increase in online orders.
  • Grocery apps in the United States also witnessed record numbers of daily downloads in March 2020 as Instacart, Walmart Grocery, and Shipt witnessed their daily downloads surging by 218%, 160%, and 124%.
  • Some changes that are expected to happen in the CPG market in the post-COVID days are: shopper preferences may come as a result of scarcity, private labels may come back stronger than before, need for click and collect models may experience an upsurge.
  • For Halloween, some researchers anticipate promotions that differ from those of the past years and expect a probable scenario where Halloween is even bigger and goes beyond candy.
  • During Easter, brands were noted to have banked on nostalgia and tradition.
  • However, despite most of the brands focusing on reaching out to their consumers with the comforts of what they already know, some brands also tried to kick start new traditions with new campaigns and creatives.
  • According to the market research estimates, isolated and high risk customers, such as those with preexisting conditions and older people, are expected to continue with their social distancing measures for longer time periods ranging from 12 to 18 months or more.
  • Therefore, sales through subscription box models are expected to present the opportunity for increased sales of non-essential items through bundling.
  • The present situation is also expected to drive the CPG players to augment their direct-to-consumer strategies through increased presence in e-commerce and apps.
  • For example, 7-Eleven has already launched an app named 7NOW to enable the company to home-deliver orders during the crisis.
  • The surge in orders, since the launch of this app, has forced 7-Eleven to recruit 20,000 new workers.

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