Shoppers 'not stockpiling for Brexit' - but stocking up on Halloween pumpkins instead

British consumers are not yet rushing to stockpile groceries ahead of the looming Brexit deadline - but they are planning for Halloween which falls on the same date.

Shoppers are opting for Halloween pumpkins over stockpiling Brexit essentials.
Shoppers are opting for Halloween pumpkins over stockpiling Brexit essentials.

The monthly supermarkets report from analysts Kantar, said sales of dry pasta and healthcare products over the past four weeks were 9 per cent and 7 per cent higher than the same time last year, but those of canned products fell by 2 per cent and frozen food by 1 per cent.

However, while consumers are not preparing for Brexit, they are preparing for Halloween, which is also on 31 October - with sales of pumpkins rocketing compared to this time last year.

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"While a quarter of British consumers say they are considering stockpiling, it seems they are waiting to see how the next few weeks play out and we expect if they take any action it will be closer to the deadline if a chaotic trading situation looks increasingly likely."

He added: “One event people are already planning for on 31 October is Halloween, spending a collective £1.5 million on pumpkins in the past 12 weeks. Those sales are 29 per cent higher than at this point before Halloween last year and retailers should be taking note and aiming to capitalise on the celebration in the coming weeks.”


The grocery market grew by 1.3 per cent in the past 12 weeks, while Sainsbury’s was the best performing of the big four retailers as the only one to achieve growth.

Online specialist Ocado continued its run as Britain’s fastest-growing supermarket – a position it has held since May 2019 – as its growth sped up slightly to 13.3 per cent.