Each year in the UK, millions of Halloween pumpkins are bought for carving and decorating before being thrown away. This is a waste of finite natural resources and a contributor to climate change.
Hubbub launched its Pumpkin Rescue campaign in 2014 to tackle this, which has steadily changed public perceptions around eating carving pumpkins; with 59% of people thinking you can eat your pumpkin in 2022, vs just 42% when the campaign first launched.
The 2022 Eat Your Pumpkin campaign aimed to reach more people than ever to accelerate public awareness of the issue, and change behaviour around the eating of Halloween pumpkins at a larger scale.
Insights and Approach
We commissioned a survey of 2,000 UK residents just before Halloween 2022, revealing that 22.2m of the 39.9m pumpkins set to be bought at Halloween were expected to go to waste. This amounts to £32.6 million worth of uneaten pumpkins thrown away.
The survey results revealed that the cost-of-living crisis meant a third of households were taking measures to make their food go further and 26% had already started batch cooking to save on energy bills. The polling further showed that 18% of people don’t know how to cook with pumpkin, and only 8% of those who celebrate Halloween freeze the flesh from their pumpkins to use another time.
The campaign targeted those who were most likely to be celebrating Halloween and buying pumpkins (families with young children and those aged 16-24).
The campaign strategy and messaging directly addressed these barriers – cost, time, and lack of knowledge – to change behaviour around the cooking, eating and disposal of pumpkins.
The campaign reached 381 million people. This included extensive media coverage (172 items), with opportunities to see/hear of more than 353 million.
The radio day with Lesley Waters landed 14 items of broadcast coverage, including 12 local BBC radio stations, with several airing extracts of the interview again later the same week.
total campaign reach
items of media coverage
opportunities to see/hear
attended regional events