Halloween is booming in the UK – so why doesn’t Nottingham like it?

So here we are, about to celebrate good old Hallows’ Eve, that traditional celebration of old that takes weeks of preparation to produce a fully decorated house, garden and children – and is universally accepted as an unoffical national holiday, right?

Oh wait…no…this isn’t America…yet.

All sarcasm aside however, Halloween now seems to have found its way into the hearts of the UK consumer – and most importantly, into their wallets. According to the latest research, Brits spent an eye popping £310 million on Halloween last year and that figure looks set to increase further still for 2017. Non-too surprisingly, it appears to be that devilish group of Millennials who are the driving force behind the increased popularity of this ‘All American’ inspired celebration, with around 50% of this demographic choosing to spend money on Halloween in 2016.

So, what is everyone spending their money on for Halloween? Costumes for the kids? Face paints? Decorations? Well, and this will come as a surprise to almost zero people reading this piece, but it seems that a lot of us Brits have cleverly used this seemingly child focused ‘holiday’ to get our party on and buy a tonne of booze and party food – but namely booze. An estimated 134 million pounds worth in fact – now that is an awful lot of ‘Spooky Sunrise’ cocktails to get through…(yes that drink really does exist).

Last year the nation’s top 4 favourite Halloween activities included; watching a scary film (12%), dressing up (10%), carving a pumpkin (13%), and hosting/attending/going out to a Halloween party (17%). Ok we get it, we like to eat, drink and be merry, it’s what we do. What did surprise me however, when delving into the depths of these spooky economics, was one particular area of the country that appears to shun the joys (or ‘joyous horrors’) of Halloween – the East Midlands.

I mean, if anywhere likes a tipple it’s every city north of Coventry, right? So why are the East Midlander’s refusing to embrace this golden opportunity to knock back suspicious sounding cocktails and trawl the streets in a Michael Myers mask? Well, as Pistachio is lucky enough to have a base in the heart of the East Midland’s – Nottingham no less – I took it upon myself to quiz the locals and find out exactly why 71% of them choose not to participate in Halloween at all:

Nervous looking barman in Squares bar:

“Ermm it’s only my first day, I’m not sure if I’m qualified to answer the question? Maybe people in Nottingham are too friendly to try and scare each other for fun…?”

Interesting insight beardy-barman, but as you refused to believe that I was, in fact on the student bar crawl and therefore qualified to receive a free shot of apple sourz, you are clearly way too much of a kill joy to understand the complexities of the average East Midlander.

Suave looking business man innocently attempting to enjoy his alfresco luncheon:

“I’d probably hazard a guess and say it’s because Halloween isn’t really a thing and the people of Nottingham generally tend to have their heads screwed on.”

Woooahhh ok Mr Halloween Grinch, why are you eating your lunch outside in October anyway? These people are clearly insane.

Jolly looking lady walking her Persian cat around the main square:

“Oh I think it’s wonderful when the kiddies get all dressed up, maybe Nottingham folks don’t plaster it all over the wired web and that’s why you think we don’t like it?”

Fair and accurate observation Susan, I think you might be the evil cat-loving genius we’ve all been waiting for to turn this country around.

Tired and kind of annoyed looking Pistachio boss, Paul Johnson (maybe I should stop asking him irrelevant and stupid questions…):

“Well no one says hello up here…. they all say ‘Aye up’…. I mean, what on earth does that mean?!?!?!?”

Yes Paul, everything you say is just, fair and correct, you are the glue that holds us all together, case closed.

Ok, so as you can see we have learnt nothing of importance here, other than the fact that celebrating Halloween is on the rise in the UK and this trend looks set to continue as younger generations get more involved in the spirit of the occasion. Millennials in particular have embraced the trend, taking the lead from their American counterparts, by using the nostalgia of the occasion as an excuse to go out and celebrate. The result – they are spending more time, money and effort than ever before on having a spook-tastic time!

Not only that, but a booming ‘Halloween inspired’ economy can only mean good things for the UK, even if we have to drag Nottingham kicking and screaming into celebrating it. Plus, with Halloween becoming the UK’s second largest retail festival to Christmas, it’s increase in popularity is surely a very big positive for the UK job market and economy.

I for one am a fan of the rise of Halloween, it’s another reason to bring people together to celebrate, share food (and drink), encourage children to dress up and, most importantly for people like us here at Pistachio, it’s a great opportunity for people to get killer with their creative!

Feeling especially spooky today? Tune in tomorrow for Pistachio’s first ever Halloween horror… watch out ‘The Deadly Designer’ is coming for you…