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Since March 2020, many Brits have missed out on the big celebrations they would typically hold with friends and family. Meeting up with loved ones is the number-one driver of excitement this festive season according to a recent report from Kantar. In fact, almost eight out of 10 consumers globally said they are most looking forward to being reunited with friends and family this Christmas.
This comes as no surprise – but following hot on the heels of group celebrations is enjoying food and drink with those much-missed loved ones, which took second place on the list.
“With the Covid restrictions impacting last year’s Christmas plans, we are anticipating that this year will be much more cause for celebration, as families are once again able to celebrate together,” a spokesperson at Durslade Farm Shop told Speciality Food.
Kantar’s report, Connecting with Families Reuniting, revealed that respondents globally are looking forward to cooking up and sharing meals with their loved ones this Christmas, and with expectations for food and drink running high, shoppers are anticipating to spend more on food this festive season than usual.
Spending is expected to rise across the board as more consumers look to enjoy bigger celebrations, but the rate of those expecting to spend more on food and drink (23%) was higher than gifts (16%), home goods and furnishings (12%) and travel (11%).
According to a survey of 3,000 adults by Lakeland, the majority of Brits want to forget their pandemic experience and return to a pre-lockdown Christmas this year, with all of the usual food and drinks and mixing with family and friends. Another 14% said they want to ‘go big’, spending as much as they can afford to have their best Christmas yet. Retailers can reflect this spirit of optimism by revamping their Christmas offering. For instance, Durslade Farm Shop has refreshed its range to include a hamper selection with festive products from classic Christmas cake to trend-led Negroni tipples.
Purchasing plans also reveal that consumers want to celebrate a more sustainable Christmas this year, with 31% of shoppers saying they will avoid glitter, and just over a quarter saying they will buy fewer gifts, according to Lakeland. However, far and away the biggest eco element of Christmas 2021 could be cutting back on food waste, with 74% of respondents saying they will try to waste less when preparing their Christmas meal.
The report estimates that 3.5 million mince pies are thrown away every festive season and 2 million kilos of cheese are never eaten. While spending is expected to rise, shoppers aren’t going over the top, with sales of smaller joints, such as turkey crowns, growing. Lakeland found that 45% of those trying to waste less this Christmas plan to buy a smaller joint.
In light of these statistics, fine food retailers have a great opportunity to inspire customers with the very best food and drink products this Christmas – plus a heartfelt sustainable and shop local message. “Recent events have drawn the public to think more consciously about where they are buying their products and what the impact on the environment will be,” Durslade’s spokesperson said. “With that in mind, consumers will be looking to make more considered choices on where they purchase products from.”
Retailers will benefit by putting sustainability and local sourcing at their core. Be sure to highlight the provenance of your products to win custom this Christmas. “The focus of our products this year has been produce from the farm, including our Durslade Farm meat boxes, sustainable Dry Gin (infused with surplus fruit and vegetable produce from sister restaurant Roth Bar & Grill), Walled Garden chocolates and jams and chutneys,” the retailer said. “Our in-house forager Kenny helps us source locally foraged produce for products, while other products such as our Christmas Pudding and Christmas cake are a collaboration with local artisans and craftsmen. In addition, all of our packaging is sourced sustainably, with our hampers presented in fully recyclable gift box.” What more could a conscious consumer want?
Whether selling eco gift hampers or a bottle of something special to enjoy alongside a board of artisan cheeses, retailers can keep the festive spirit alive this Christmas, despite Covid-19.