KitKat brings a scary innovation to store

From Shopper Marketing Report: "Spooky Friends" are part of the return of Nestle's socially distanced trick-or-treat program.


Nestlé’s Spooky minibars are out for Halloween, featuring an assortment of Kit Kat Dracula, Frankenstein, bat, witch and mummy shapes.

According to Nestlé VP of marketing Ryan Saunders, it’s featuring the innovation with key retailers through flyers, promotional activities and another iteration of its socially distanced Halloween Red Pumpkin Project initiative, its way to encourage a fun and safe October 31 for all.

“We focused on highlighting what the product is – showing exactly how each shape looks because KitKat Spooky Friends is new not only to Canada, but globally,” Saunders explains, adding that the Kit Kat line was chosen because of its popularity domestically.

Kit Kat Spooky Friends, Saunders says, are also suited for baking with the family or making a special delivery to your closest friends.

Saunders tells strategy that it’s noticed that the way Canadians celebrate Halloween is evolving. Last year, communities rallied together to make Halloween happen for kids and this year they’ll do the same – finding ways to celebrate safely whether outdoors or at home.

“We’ve evolved too –  we’ve created in-store signage and online messaging encouraging everyone to ‘Stay Spooky, Stay Safe,’” Saunders says.


With continued COVID uncertainties, and informed by Numerator consumer intentions data showing 9% of households were planning not to celebrate Halloween this year, he says Nestlé knew there was an opportunity to help encourage a fun and safe Halloween for everyone.

“We wanted to provide ideas for families, whether they were looking to go trick-or-treating safely or celebrate at-home,” Saunders says.

Nestlé is reaffirming distanced Halloween messaging by partnering with Narcity to offer supplemental ideas for Halloween including at-home fun with recipes, such as Spooky Coffins recipes.

Shoppers may also notice prominent, ubiquitous red packs across grocery banners.

Nestlé has always adapted its approach to changing marketing conditions, he says, whether that’s keeping peanut allergies top of mind, increasing focus on ecomm as consumers turned online during lockdowns, or offering smaller packs for for households with fewer trick-or-treaters.

It’s also developing packaging with a smaller environmental impact as the CPG works towards ensuring that its packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025.

“As part of our commitment to reduce waste, we moved all of our Halloween treats from plastic bags to recyclable cartons,” he says. “As the world’s largest producer of food and beverage, our vision is a future where none of our packaging ends up in nature,” Saunders adds. Halloween chocolate also uses sustainably sourced cocoa through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.

Nestlé worked with OneMethod and Thrive on the Red Pumpkin Project.