Halloween kicks off the “all things sweet” quarter of the fiscal year. According to the National Confectioners Association, Halloween candy sales are expected to reach over $2.5 billion this year, and retail experts estimate total spending to go north of $7.4 billion. However, the Halloween season presents a time for supermarkets to reach beyond the young trick-or-treaters, get the creative juices flowing and turn the bakery department into a fire sale of sweet baked goods that appeal to all ages.

Supermarket bakeries need to prepare themselves for fall rushes that begin at Halloween. For example, Walmart customers buy more baked goods in the fall than any other time of year. And in 20213, 20 percent of Walmart’s annual bakery sales occurred in the three days leading up to Halloween. Halloween lands on a Saturday this year. That means more parties that last longer and have more guests. That means more food, especially the goodies. Not only that, it means that the Friday night before, and early on that Saturday, there will be a rush.

From cute to horrific and macabre—and occasionally gross—Halloween presents instore bakeries a time to have fun and get a little crazier than normal. Most staple supermarket bakery items can be transformed into specialty items during the Halloween season. Cookies, cupcakes, cakes, donuts, etc., all offer great platforms for creating Halloween specific products.

Add Ons

For your staple items such as cupcakes, cookies, basic cakes (sheet, round, etc.) and donuts, companies like Bakery Crafts and Lucks provide a number of easy-to-use decorations for the Halloween season. These easy-to-use additions take your staple bakery items and instantly turn them into Halloween specialties.

Bakery Crafts offers a huge assortment of Halloween picks that can easily be placed onto a cupcake to transform it into a Halloween cupcake. These types of decorations work perfectly for multipack items being used for parties during the holiday. Especially attractive for classrooms and the workplace, they’re easy and sell well. Another go-to that’s easy and effective is Bakery Craft’s different Halloween sprinkle mixes. They come in Halloween shapes and colors with easy application to orange or black frosted cupcakes.

To take your Halloween cupcakes to another level, use Bakery Craft’s treat wraps. These decorative cupcake wraps come in an assortment of designs from Dracula’s tuxedo to black cats playing with bats. They’re a simple an effective way to turn any cupcake into a fun Halloween party treat.

Bakery Craft’s also carries rings, Edible Image Decorations, adornments and other products for all of your bakery department’s Halloween needs.

For ease of use Lucks Food Decorating Company offers a wide array of Dec Ons, sugar decorations are made primarily from finely granulated sugar which is molded into various shapes and hand painted with edible food colors. Everything from pumpkins to monster and ghosts to spiders are available. Dec Ons come in classic Halloween characters like Frankenstein and also in classic designs such as skulls, witches and bats. They are Orthodox Union Kosher Certified.

For cakes, Lucks supplies an assortment of Halloween themed edible images. Halloween messages and cute and spooky scenes make cakes perfect for shoppers’ Halloween parties this year. Also, Lucks’ Edible Transfer Sheets for chocolate are easy to handle and do not smear. They do not contain cocoa butter; can be shipped year round and work well on milk, dark and white chocolate and coating chocolate. They are Orthodox Union Kosher certified.

The Lucks website also contains decorating ideas pages. From Día de Los Muertos cake ideas to Frightful Friends Donuts and everything in between, Lucks Halloween decorating ideas have you and your bakery covered for this high-volume holiday.

In-house Decorating

Let your decorators run wild with Halloween. Start by putting one or two elaborately decorated Halloween cakes on display with signage advertising custom orders. Have these cakes on display early enough that plenty of customers see them in advance of the holiday. Have pricing in order and on paper for shoppers to view before displaying custom order service and taking appointments.

Work with your decorator(s) to ensure that time frames and pricing give you the maximum profit without pricing you out of any sales. Let decorators experiment with theme and design, but continue to consider whether or not designs are consumer and kid friendly. If someone wants a cake that might not be appropriate for display in the store’s case, schedule an appointment or consultation and work with the customer that way. Cakes like these should be even more of an upsell than average custom orders.

Halloween Flavors
When thinking of Halloween flavors, pumpkin is a given, but you need a little variety. When looking for flavors to use for your Halloween products, think fall. Many popular fall flavors can also work for Halloween. While pumpkin will still sell the most, consider these flavors as supplements to your Halloween line up.

  • Maple
  • Ginger
  • Pecan
  • Sweet potato
  • Apple
  • Cinnamon
  • Caramel
  • Hazelnut
  • Butterscotch