How Supply Chains Support Halloween Candy Distribution

How Supply Chains Support Halloween Candy Distribution

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While many other holidays throughout the year are associated with candy, Halloween is one of the most popular candy holidays of them all. In the weeks leading up to Halloween, people stock up on various treats to give away to trick-or-treaters and consume themselves. As a result, manufacturers, distributors and retailers alike must be prepared to deal with this surge in demand as well as the immediate November 1 contraction.

This year has brought a new dynamic to shipping candy with tight temperature-controlled trucking capacity and elevated shipping rates. Furthermore, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates consumer spending on Halloween-related items will reach an all-time high of $10.14 billion, up from $8.05 billion in 2021.

With a short six-to-eight-week for candy production and delivery to retailers, even the slightest miscalculation can result in a disastrous oversupply or undersupply of treats. The small window of opportunity combined with the high volume of demand can be tricky, but with the right solutions in place, it can be a real treat. Unfortunately, with the current logistic constraints, his year only exacerbates the already tight timeframes for retailers to be market-ready.

July 1: Retailer Submits Candy Purchase Order (Purchase Order Planning)

Planning which candy to purchase relies on past data, current trends and a wicked good sense of the market. Retailers are continually revising their procurement plans during the planning phase until they believe they have it right. Once they do, purchase orders (POs) are created. The purchase order is issued 60 days prior to the in-store date for Halloween candy. This timeframe gives the candy manufacturer 30-45 days to complete production, packaging, labeling and shipment coordination. Therefore, the candy maker (supplier) needs to update basic milestones such as Order Received and Order Confirmed to notify the retailer (buyer) that production is ready to begin on time.

July 1 – August 15: Candy Production (Order Management)

Believe it or not, even Halloween candy needs a platform in place to ensure all stakeholders involved can manage their orders effectively and efficiently. Retailers often utilize an Order Management solution to ensure that everyone involved will be notified and immediately address the problem if anything goes awry.

August 16: Production is Complete and Candy Ships (Order Fulfillment and Transportation Management)

Once the candy production is complete, it is wrapped, packaged, labeled and staged for shipping. Our PEAK International Order Management solution allows the candy maker to take photos of the product and upload them to the platform, enabling the retailer to confirm that the product is accurate and ready to be sent to stores nationwide. Once the candy is booked with a transportation provider, the retailer can access shipment tracking.

August 17: Candy Arrives at a Retail Store (Receiving)

Once the candy arrives at the retailer location, it is thoroughly inspected for damages, defects and accuracy. The candy is scanned into inventory, carefully stacked in the storage room and stored for two weeks until the Halloween store changeover.

September 6: Halloween Candy is Available For Sale (Merchandising)

Traditionally, the Halloween season’s unofficial start begins the week after Labor Day weekend, the first weekend of September. Thus, It is crucial for retailers to have the candy on-hand and ready for display as the changeover process is coordinated with Halloween advertisements. If the candy is not available, it can have chilling consequences, such as higher costs, lost sales and, worst of all – lost customers. 

In 2021, the NRF estimates that 84 percent of consumers will have completed their Halloween shopping by the second week of October, putting additional pressure on retailers to ensure that stock is available and that anything still pending will be secured as early in the sales cycle as possible.

September 6 – October 30: Candy is Sold to Customers (Sales)

The start of the Halloween season is now upon us! Retailers must transition their store shelves and promptly display their Halloween candy to attract as many customers as possible. Too little of one product could result in stock-outs, while too many of another product could result in excess inventory. When executed correctly, sales will be booming.

October 31: Halloween Night (Distribution)

Months of forecasting, planning, allocating, producing, packaging, and shipping culminate on one magical night. Trick-or-treaters, young and old, descend on the streets across America for a wicked good time and the distribution of much-anticipated Halloween candy.

Who said logistics has to be scary? We certainly didn’t. Contact our team to learn more about how to optimize your supply chain.


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