Creating the Thanksgiving/Halloween Retail Experience

How Grocery Industry Retailers and Manufacturers Can Set Up for Success This Fall

Even though we’re still in the middle of summer, it won’t be long until the fall rush starts — which means now is the time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving and Halloween retail experience.

The Canadian grocery industry plays a big part in both holidays. For Thanksgiving retail, consumers are purchasing turkeys, stuffing, and canned pumpkin filling. For Halloween, they’re filling up their carts with candy and baking supply. There’s a lot of crossover and only a short gap between the two holidays.

How should grocery retailers and manufacturers prepare?

  1. Early Bird Sales (Literally)

According to Nielsen, these are the items most Canadians stock up on for Thanksgiving:

  • Turkey
  • Pumpkin
  • Cranberry sauces
  • Stuffing mixes
  • Pie fillings
  • Ham
  • Pie crust mixes
  • Whipped toppings
  • Gravy makers and enhancers
  • Squash

Plan out your stock needs early, and even set out some sales from the get go. While there are shoppers who will wait until the last minute to buy for their meals, many will start hitting the stores early.

If you have turkeys in stock, an early bird sale could be a great way of driving business. And plan out other sales early, too. If you manufacture canned pumpkin filling, this is the perfect time to push your product.

And don’t forget accessories. You can’t make a pie without a pie tin. You need a turkey baster and a roasting pan for the meat. Think store-wide about how you could offer sales and look at your historic retail data to see what has generally sold out first.

  1. Pumpkins Galore

Some items pull double-duty between Thanksgiving and Halloween; pumpkins are one of those products. A special display for pumpkins alone can last the whole month.

Anything pumpkin-related, fall-themed, or candy-like can also generally cross between both holidays. Candy corn, gummy worms, apples, and pumpkin spice stay in season even after Thanksgiving is over.

  1. Spooktacular Displays

There are plenty of display opportunities for both Thanksgiving and Halloween. Consider:

  • A Thanksgiving tablescape.
  • Placing Halloween decorations near the cash register with spiders and cobwebs over the display.
  • Grouping commonly purchased items together.
  • Creating a package set, for example pie mix, pie crust, and a pie tin.
  1. Think Seasonal

According to the 2016 Census of Agriculture, there are 3,476 farms in Canada with squash and zucchini patches. The fall season is their time to shine.

Beyond pumpkins and squash, there are other fruits and vegetables that are ripest in the fall. Apples, blueberries, cranberries, pears, and plums are all fall-time delicacies. Brussel sprouts, limes, beets, garlic, leeks, and more are also in season.

Consider setting aside a seasonal display or promoting these goods at the front of the store. You could also provide suggested recipes and pairings with other products.

  1. Merge Digital with In-Store Promotions

Whatever promotions you have planned for Thanksgiving or Halloween, don’t forget about extending them to digital. Or you could also create digital-exclusive promotions. If you offer online grocery shopping services, consider applying sales to your website as well as in-store, or throwing in a holiday-themed product with a purchase. If you are a manufacturer, offer coupons or specific items related to the holiday.

Marketsupport Canada can help your grocery brand prepared for both Thanksgiving and Halloween sales. We’ll ensure your products are kept stocked and displayed the way that you want.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help. Call 1 877 421 5081 or visit

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