As Halloween draws near, the UK's passion for the spooky celebration is evident in the soaring sales of pumpkins. Barfoots of Botley, one of the UK's leading pumpkin growers, has reported distributing over a million pumpkins in a mere month.
Collaborating with their supply chain partner IPP, Barfoots offers four distinct pumpkin varieties to British supermarkets.
During the height of the 2022 season, the Bognor Regis-based firm dispatched an equivalent of 40 lorry loads of pumpkins in a single day.
Paul Chilton, the head of logistics and planning at Barfoot, remarked on the UK's escalating enthusiasm for Halloween festivities.
He mentioned that this growing trend has resulted in a consistent increase in pumpkin deliveries over their eight-year collaboration with IPP.
IPP, headquartered in Coventry and recognised as one of Europe's top pallet and box poolers, collaborates with horticulturists and growers nationwide.
Their role is pivotal in ensuring pumpkins reach supermarket shelves and in distributing millions of sweet buckets for Halloween enthusiasts.
Chilton elaborated on the challenges and intricacies of the pumpkin business, stating, "Alongside the summer sweetcorn season, this period is among our busiest. We distribute over a million pumpkins, utilised for carving, culinary purposes, and décor.
"The carving pumpkin is the most popular, making up about 750,000 of the pumpkins we cultivate and distribute. The majority of these are dispatched within just four weeks, making the logistics for essentially a single day quite challenging."
Both Barfoots and IPP have synergised their efforts to manage the sudden surge in demand during this period.
Chilton added, "Pumpkins can be quite finicky. Insufficient water stunts their growth, while excessive moisture can cause rot. Preparing for this peak season is a meticulous task."
Shelley Pierre, the commercial director at IPP, highlighted the significance of their partnership with Barfoots of Botley, saying, "The rising popularity of Halloween in the UK is evident, and the vast quantities of pumpkins we distribute for Barfoots is a testament to that.
"Our collaboration thrives on flexibility, exceptional customer service, and product quality."