DMA Solutions' Mackenzie McLeod Talks Halloween Merchandising and Produce Positioning

Tue. October 11th, 2022 - by Anne Allen

DALLAS, TX - Goblins, ghouls, and gourdsoh my! Halloween is my favorite holiday. The costumes, the spooky vibes, and yes, the food. In order to position produce as a must-buy, I spoke with DMA Solutions’ Mackenzie McLeod.

Mackenzie McLeod, Executive Director of Brand Management, DMA Solutions“Data tells us that online search is the most popular way shoppers get their Halloween costume, decorating, and recipe ideas, followed by browsing retail stores,” the Executive Director of Brand Management began. “First and foremost, retailers and suppliers alike should focus on providing shoppers with seasonal inspiration and ideas on digital channels that will be found as the result of online search queries and browsing social media.”

When the shoppers make it to the store, they may be further inspired to make impulse purchases in the produce department if seasonal signage is used to showcase how a certain product fits into a Halloween-themed presentation.

Data shows that online search is the most popular way shoppers get their Halloween costume, decorating, and recipe ideas, followed by browsing retail stores

“This will work especially well with specialty produce items that are a little bit differentlike Moon Drops® grapes, Kiwano melon, rambutan, or dragon fruit,” Mackenzie added.

Naturally, Mackenzie and I had to address the elephant in the room: Do retailers position produce as a competitor for candy?

“I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that produce brands attempt to compete with candy during the Halloween season, as this is a beloved tradition for many,” she said. “Instead, I would recommend that produce brands focus on understanding the ways in which their products are already naturally fitting into shoppers’ Halloween celebrations and seek to create content that inspires that type of usage and consumption. For example, Halloween parties often include beautiful fall-themed charcuterie boards that can be filled with seasonal fall produce like grapes or apples.”

Other examples can be found at store currently. Christopher Ranch is promoting special Halloween display boxes for loose garlic with a vampire theme, and Bako Sweet® shared a sweet potato donut recipe decorated for Halloween.

When shoppers make it to the store, they may be further inspired to make impulse purchases in the produce department if seasonal signage is used to showcase how a certain product fits into a Halloween-themed presentation

Parents also seek Halloween-themed snacks and activities they can use to entertain their kids, such as celery sticks filled with cream cheese and sliced turkey made to look like mummies, or strawberries dipped in white chocolate that appear to be ghosts.

“Halloween-themed cocktail recipes are highly searched and can include a variety of produce items, while anything with pumpkin incorporated into the recipe is guaranteed to grab eyeballs,” Mackenzie noted. “Ask yourself: as a fresh produce brand, are you creating and providing shoppers with inspirational content that fits into the occasions they are already planning for?”

There are plenty of opportunities to see where produce plays a role in Halloween this year, and we’re excited to see them all!

DMA Solutions