Halloween is the only time of year a retailer is encouraged to have body parts, monsters and blood squirting skulls for sale and while the novelty factor for store owners is quite high, the spooky season can be quite lucrative if you stock the latest products on the market.

Andrew Matlow, communications director at Swizzels Matlow, says that Halloween is the third biggest period of the year for confectionery sales after Christmas and Easter, and that it's important for retailers to capitalise.

To help them do this Swizzels Matlow has launched two new Halloween products to complement its range, the Spooky Dip selection which includes strawberry, mixed berry and orange sherbert dips along with a blackcurrant Swizzelstick, and the orange and blackcurrant Monster Chew bar. Both products are free from artificial colourings.

For the older kids or just the adults who are children at heart, McVities has launched two new limited editions of old favourites. Lemon & slime Jaffa Cakes and Spooky Mini Rolls are both perfect for customers celebrating Halloween with a party at home.

Perfetti Van Melle has released a Chupa Chups lollipop wheel that fits neatly on a counter as well as bags of Chupa Chups Magics, Fruittella Liquorice and Fruittella Fruit mix. All these bags have an rrp of 99p.

Haribo has added to its horror-themed range with the launch of Super Sour Monsters bags. This will complement the already popular Magic Mix, Horror Mix and Trick or Treat bags.

Retro products have been popular this year and Halloween is no exception. Tangerine Confectionery has revamped Barratt Sherbet Fountains and Princess Marshmallows to help bring customers back to their childhood. It is also re-launching Seventies favourite Mojo squirting jelly skulls that are sure to scare up some sales.

Walkers Nonsuch is staying away from the gruesome aspect of Halloween and concentrating on Bonfire Night by adding a new 50g Pocket Creamy Toffee Bar that it hopes will appeal to a younger audience. The firm supplies bags of Bonfire Toffees and Bonfire Toffee shelf barkers.

Hancocks Cash & Carry has no such qualms about scaring customers with its new range. It has eight new Halloween lines including 10p Body Parts, 75p Halloween Mallow Pops, £1 Spooky Coffin Box, £1 Halloween Kebab and a £1 Monster Eyeball and Pumpkin Bucket.

According to Hancocks senior buyer Jonathan Summerley, pick & mix always sells well at this time of year.

"Any retailer can tweak their range to include items such as red eye skulls, fangs, bones, spiders and skeletons," he says. "Those who bag up loose sweets might want to consider creating a 'spooky' bag for the occasion."

Summerley also advises retailers to put some thought into their Halloween displays, as a little effort can generate huge sales. "Halloween continues to be a growing opportunity in the confectionery market and one that suits the independent market extremely well," he adds. "For many, putting some enthusiasm behind this event will reap notable cash benefits. A good selection of products to provide trick or treaters, plus some fun party ideas displayed creatively, would be extremely worthwhile."

Haribo brand manager Katy Clark agrees with this sentiment and advises retailers to make an effort with their Halloween displays.

"With such a short window of opportunity retailers can maximise sales potential by producing imaginative off-shelf displays, creating in-store theatre by bringing the occasion to life for customers and focusing on the lines suitable for trick or treaters and Halloween parties," she says.

Clarke adds that apart from having an innovative display, it's important that retailers stock a varied range.

"Each year in the UK Halloween gets bigger and bigger representing a growing opportunity for retailers to generate incremental sales," she adds.

"It's not just the wide range of themed products that create an attractive offering for impulse purchasers. Multi-pack and mini-bag options, varying bag sizes and individually wrapped sweets are ideal for shoppers looking for variety and different price points for parties and trick or treaters."