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This Christmas is going to be another break from the norm with the financial climate still shrouded in uncertainty. But that’s not to say that consumers will be refraining from treating themselves during the festive season.
Laura Strapp, head of buying at Cotswold Fayre, told Speciality Food “We are expecting customers to go all out for Christmas this year despite continually seeing the cost of living rising. Where consumers are looking to make cutbacks, we think they will still look to then treat themselves at Christmas and go for all the trimmings.”
With this in mind, we take a closer look at the key trends that consumers will be spending on this festive season.
Modern twists on the classics
This year, shoppers will be looking for the familiar classics but with a twist to impress loved ones and make Christmas truly special.
According to Laura, “It’s all about getting the balance right from tradition to innovative products.
“Christmas is always about tradition but also putting a spin and excitement on traditional well-loved lines. Best sellers will always be cranberry sauce, stuffing, and Christmas puddings, but it’s always good to see that element of fun, for example, Gin Mayo and Ketchup.
“Chocolate always plays its part, and best sellers still remain chocolate Santas, coins and other festive shapes. Also, consumers are looking for top-end good quality chocolate lines, and more development is coming from plant-based opening up lots of exciting flavours.”
Helena Bush, digital marketing assistant at Sous Chef, added, “Panettone is a Christmas classic, and we predict it to remain as popular as ever this year – at Sous Chef we completely sold out in 2021!
“In recent years, Panettone has expanded into a range of incredible flavours from incredible makers (our Dolce & Gabbana panettones are a firm favourite every Christmas). From matcha and pistachio to tiramisu and even Aperol spritz, the world of this rich and buttery Christmas delight has never been wider.”
One classic that should always be a mainstay is the advent calendar. As Laura explained, “The advent calendar just keeps on growing as everyone seems to love these, so my advice to all our brands is to make sure you have one, it will be your best seller!”
But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. According to Helena, “In 2022, we predict consumers will take a tour around the world of incredible tastes and aromas in their festive food choices. Terre Exotique’s spice advent calendar counts down to Christmas with spices from across the globe to take a culinary tour with your festive recipes.”
Spoiling our loved ones is synonymous with Christmas and fine food makes the perfect gift. In fact, according to Mintel, 34% of UK gift buyers bought food and drink as Christmas gifts in 2021 – and experts predict this year won’t be any different.
According to Laura, “As we see more interest in food, consumers look to buy food items as gifts for the foodie in their life. A good spicy sauce is always a popular stocking filler! Drink gift boxes still prove popular, and getting a price point under the £20 mark is important to consumers.”
When it comes to Christmas gifting, sustainability and quality are hot trends. Helena explained, “Unique artisan craftsmanship is the number one choice for gifts in 2022. From hand-painted Turkish ceramics to Puglian Splatterware from Italy, our gift range this year is all about celebrating individually-made pieces to treasure.
“Treating your loved ones to gifts you know will last a lifetime is the trend at the top of consumers’ minds this Christmas.”
This is something that Bryony Berry, marketing manager at Gadsby, has also identified. “This year we are seeing strong demand for hampers, gift boxes, and gift trays made from sustainable materials that can be repurposed long after the festive season.
“People like that they can give a gift to be enjoyed in the moment, but the packaging, such as a willow or wooden hamper, can have a much longer life span.
“Neutral tones still dominate, and grey remains a popular choice for 2022. Its staying power reflects consumer sophistication and the desire for beautiful Instagrammable gifts. This neutral colour palette is also popular because it blends well with any interior style, in keeping with the repurposing trend”, she explained.
Keeping these trends in mind will help you have a successful holiday season this year and keep products flying off the shelves.
Christmas content supported by Woolcool – the pioneers of sustainable temperature-controlled packaging.