As Halloween becomes more widely celebrated in China, especially by young urbanites, brands are hopping on the trend by launching seasonal specials to cater to the growing market. From Western chains like KFC and Starbucks to domestic ones such as CoCo and Holiland, it seems food and beverage companies are keen to offer terrifyingly terrific treats for the spookiest day of the year!
Here, we introduce you to some of the unique snacks currently available to consumers in Greater China.
KFC China has never lacked creative (and often cringe) campaigns.
For Halloween 2022, in collaboration with the American brand Heinz, KFC China has launched sweet and spicy chicken wings, spicy cheese fries, and tomato soda, all of which come with Heinz ketchup branded as ‘blood bags.’ The campaign is running from October 20 to November 15.
On October 24, the fast-food chain also introduced egg tarts adorned with Halloween-themed chocolates.
Aside from food specials, KFC dressed SpongeBob SquarePants-inspired toys in classic Halloween costumes. The combination includes figures like SpongeBob dressed in a devil costume, with an unsettling detachable face and ‘trick or treat’ written inside:
Along with other beloved characters like Patrick Star, the toy line also features grouchy old Squidward in a movable orange coffin:
The shop is particularly well-known for its sweets and desserts, and the franchise frequently updates its offerings. For Halloween this year, Lawson China has added a new collection of desserts to its shelves, with most (appropriately) pumpkin flavored.
As shown in the pictures above, Lawson’s Halloween specials include four themed cakes, a pie, a sandwich, and a cookie that resembles a witch’s finger.
Founded in Taiwan in 1997, CoCo is one of the world’s largest bubble tea franchises, with more than 5,000 shops around the globe. Most famous for its taro milk tea, the brand also has other signature drinks, including smoothies, juices, and fruit teas and lattes, among other beverages.
For Halloween 2022, CoCo collaborated with Japanese anime company Sanrio, specifically its character Kuromi. Introduced in 2005, Kuromi is a white rabbit whose birthday is on Halloween. Wearing a pink skull on her forehead and a black devil’s tail, she debuted in the anime series Onegai My Melody and is a major antagonist in the Hello Kitty franchise.
The brand has decorated 10 shops across China with Kuromi imagery while promoting two themed drinks: grape soda and the black sesame smoothie.
As shown above, Kuromi-inspired merch is also available, including straws, cups, hair bands, socks, and stickers.
Established in Beijing in 1992, Holiland is a classic Chinese bakery that is constantly finding new ways to stay relevant and edgy. One recent example is the brand’s Harry Potter-inspired mooncakes, which it released to celebrate this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival (a traditional celebration in China).
For Halloween 2022, Holiland introduced a new series called ‘What the Ghost,’ which includes bread, a pastry, a tote bag, and a knife, all ghost-themed.
As seen above, the ghost-shaped coconut latte-flavored pastry ‘bleeds’ with running chocolate after being cut in half.
The bread is also coconut latte-flavored and is billed as the ‘What the Ghost Frisbee,’ a nod to frisbee’s growing popularity in China. Ultimate frisbee, in particular, has seen a sudden rise in the country, primarily promoted by celebrities and influencers in first-tier cities. China even launched a national league for the sport in 2019.
Lonely God is a potato chip brand owned by Taiwanese food manufacturer Want Want Group. The snack has won the hearts of junk food enthusiasts worldwide with its sad-sounding name and unique twisted shape.
The brand has launched Halloween-themed chips this year, but they are only available in Taiwan at the moment. Lonely God’s limited edition snacks come in three flavors: spicy cheddar cheese, truffle, and classic salt.
Unlike in other parts of the world, Starbucks China isn’t offering special Halloween beverages this year, but we still can’t resist its spooky set of mugs, bottles, and candy bowls.
Like last year, Starbucks China has incorporated adorable ghosts into their Halloween merch — those mugs are almost too cute to drink out of!
Additional reporting by Isabel Su. All images via Weibo, unless otherwise stated
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