Meijer is promoting an alternative way of celebrating Halloween in this year of the pandemic.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is warning people that traditional trick or treating puts them at high risk for catching or spreading the coronavirus, and debate continues across the country about whether to ban the practice on the local level.
In response, Meijer is promoting the use of “Boo Bags.” They come from the "You've Been Booed" Halloween trend increasing in neighborhoods during the last few years. In order to participate, families simply fill bags with a variety of Halloween goodies and leave them in front of neighbors' or friends' doors with a sign explaining they have been "booed" and must now pass a ghostly surprise on to someone else.
"We anticipate the growing 'You've Been Booed!' trend to be really big this year as families look for fun ways to embrace the season safely," said Meijer group vice president of home and hardlines Shawn Sinicrope. "With so much uncertainty around the usual Halloween celebrations like haunted houses and even trick-or-treating, 'Boo Bags' give families an opportunity to still have fun together while starting a new tradition."
Customers can visit the Meijer "You've Been Booed" page for creative Boo Bag ideas, a free printable sign and item lists that they can shop directly using Meijer home delivery or curbside pickup. These Boo Bag themes range from candy-filled family fun to potion-like cocktails and haunting décor to show that there's a Boo Bag for everyone on a customer's list.
"What makes this such a fun way to celebrate the holiday is that it teaches kids about the joys of giving on a holiday that focuses so much on receiving," Sinicrope said. "It also allows families to enjoy many of the elements of traditional trick-or-treating—the joys of wandering the neighborhood together as a family—while still respecting social-distancing guidelines."
Meijer isn't the only food retailers making Halloween more virtual than it might be in a normal year. The Giant Co.'s team of nutritionists is helping kids of all ages create spooky snacks live via Zoom throughout the month of October. The virtual classes will take place every Monday and Wednesday, aiming to further the grocer's new brand platform, For Today's Table, which launched last month.
Meijer also offers shoppable guides for bringing the spooky spirit of the holiday home through Halloween-themed décor for the porch and indoors, recipes and other methods.
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Meijer operates more than 245 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No.19 on PG's 2020 PG 100 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.