The Autumn Effect: How the change in seasons shapes shopper habits in the UK


As the vibrant hues of summer fade into the rustic tones of autumn, there is a subtle but significant shift in consumer behaviour and shopping patterns. The change in seasons, especially the arrival of autumn, has a remarkable impact on how people shop, what they buy, and where they shop. In the United Kingdom, major food retailers and supermarkets witness distinct alterations in customer preferences and buying habits during this transitional time.

Seasonal Produce and Culinary Trends

Autumn transitions from fresh, light summer fare to hearty, comforting meals. Shoppers tend to gravitate towards seasonal produce such as pumpkins, squash, apples, and root vegetables. Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons often launch marketing campaigns highlighting these autumnal ingredients and their usage in traditional dishes, soups, and baked goods. Consumers, inspired by the changing season, are more likely to experiment with new recipes and cooking styles.

Festive Preparations

With the approach of various autumn festivals and holidays, including Halloween and Bonfire Night, shoppers are on the lookout for themed decorations, costumes, and party supplies. Major retailers like Asda and Aldi capitalize on these events by offering seasonal products, including themed candies, costumes, and decorations. The demand for these items increases, and supermarkets adjust their inventories accordingly.

Comfort Food and Beverages

As the temperature drops and evenings become cooler, shoppers seek warmth and comfort in their food and beverages. This leads to a surge in the purchase of hot drinks such as tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. In response, major supermarkets like Waitrose and Lidl and the high-street coffee emporiums often introduce special autumn-themed drinks and cosy comfort food options like soups, stews, and pies, which are prominently displayed and advertised.

Apparel and Home Textiles

As autumn sets in, shoppers focus on seasonal apparel and home textiles. Retailers like Marks & Spencer, Next, and John Lewis witnessed an increase in the sales of autumn-themed clothing, including sweaters, scarves, and boots. Additionally, shoppers purchase warm blankets, throws, and home decor items in rich, autumnal colours to create a cosy ambience within their homes.

Autumn Sales and Promotions

Autumn also sees major supermarkets and retailers launching sales and promotions to entice shoppers. Discounts on certain seasonal products, buy-one-get-one-free offers, and loyalty card rewards are common strategies retailers like Morrison’s, Tesco, and Co-op use to encourage increased spending during this period. Consumers often plan their shopping trips to take advantage of these promotions.


The arrival of autumn in the UK brings about a notable transformation in consumer behaviour and shopping habits. Shoppers seek seasonal produce, festive preparations, comfort food and beverages, appropriate apparel, and home textiles. Major supermarkets and retailers respond to these changing trends by adjusting their marketing strategies and product offerings. Understanding and catering to these autumnal preferences are crucial for businesses to effectively connect with their customers and optimize sales during this seasonal shift.

Wow Me has helped many brands introduce seasonal offerings. Take a look at just some of the great examples of how we’ve helped sucessfully create on-shelf impact and driven sales opportunities.

Wilko Halloween

Wilko Outdoor Toys

Lily O’Brien’s Christmas Chocolates

Feel free to drop us a line to see how we can help you

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