Vaishnavi Vora, a second-year bakery and patisserie student at University College Birmingham and one of Dawn Foods student ambassadors looks at the flavours and formats shaping Halloween this year.
Halloween has its roots in Celtic traditions, and today it is widely celebrated across America, Canada, Mexico and is fast becoming a mainstay of the UK events calendar too. It’s now the third most sought-after occasion after Christmas and Easter, and provides many market opportunities for the bakery and confectionery sectors.
We associate autumnal colours and flavours such as pumpkin with Halloween. The use of black and orange colours is typical to the spook fest celebrations, although purples, hot pinks and neon add a fun twist. The spookiness of a product can be taken a notch higher by using gruesome packaging to add ‘pick me up’ appeal to products.
Consumer preference for a new take on Halloween favourites is seen with modern interpretations of classic flavours and textures. ‘Blood orange’ with its spooky connotations is an on-trend adult flavour for this year, while the classic toffee apple can be updated by altering the format; try adding caramelised white chocolate filling in the apple and coating it with popping candy to add a fun element.
Halloween provides some great opportunities for innovation, ranging from pumpkin bread to charcoal scones or even a pumpkin lava cake that is baked inside a hollow pumpkin!
We might see the celebrations of this spook-fest slightly different amidst the current pandemic situation, with retailers and foodservice operators giving a creative Halloween twist to PPE and masks. The pandemic has also seen increased demand for individual grab and go products such as cake bites, parfaits and cake slices. Graveyard brownie anyone?!!