Unpacking Christmas

Retailers are banking on a last-minute flurry of festive frivolity in December and will continue working hard to deliver an affordable Christmas cheer.

With the clock ticking down to Christmas, it’s comforting to read that Britons are planning on ending the year with a feast by splashing out on Christmas dinner. Such a finding is supported by William Trump, founder and lead consultant at Unconventional Wisdom, a consultancy that specialises in behavioural science and customer insight. He believes consumers will spend more this Christmas as the festive season will “bring out something in all of us, in particular a tendency to spend more than we might have planned”.

Brits are planning on ending 2023 on a Christmas dinner high by splashing out on their favourite festive food, new research reveals, according to the producer of British high-welfare meat, The Jolly Hog. Key categories include the traditionals ones such as meat, drink and confectionery as indicated by The Jolly Hog’s survey.

Over half the nation (55%) say food and drink is their favourite thing about Christmas celebrations.

A booze-free party season – one in five Brits plan on cutting back on alcohol and switching the traditional turkey for ham.

The research, by The Jolly Hog, reveals that overall, 64% are looking to spend more on festive food this year compared to 2022 and that savvy shoppers are planning on spending less on things like alcohol (21%) and the traditional turkey (19%), so they can spend a little more on upgrading tasty treats like pigs in blankets, stuffing, roasted ham, Christmas pudding and cranberry sauce.

Olly Kohn, co-founder of The Jolly Hog, notes how shoppers have told his company that they plan on ending the year on a high while still being super savvy on their Christmas food shop.

“For many of us the challenges of 2023 aren’t going anywhere, but we’re seeing Christmas lunch as a time to treat our families to a few treats here and there.

“We all know how excited we get for the biggest meal of the year, so it’s unsurprising that when it comes to firm festive favourites like pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and mince pies, we’re not willing to compromise on taste and quality by spending a little more to upgrade to the best.”

To tap into this sentiment, Christmas upgrades for The Jolly Hog include Pigs in blankets, Christmas ham, Cranberry sauce, and Mince pies.

Turning to confectionery, Olam Food Ingredients (ofi) has identified four chocolate and confectionery trends set to shape this year’s festive season. Highlights include:

Festive flavours getting a hot twist with unconventional spice combinations, like chilli chocolate, in Christmas food and beverage products.
Premium advent calendars with new flavours and formulations to create premium calendars that stand out on the shelf.
Artisanal and handcrafted treats to treat loved ones this holiday season.
Home-made Christmas crafts using some festive baking ideas for making indulgent foods

The giving, receiving, and sharing of chocolate and confectionery is central to so many festive celebrations around the world. And this year, consumer expectations are higher than ever, with many seeking new and novel Christmas offerings that bring a blend of tradition and innovation.

The brands that will win this Christmas are those that are re-imagining holiday staples and delivering exciting and more premium products to surprise and delight consumers,” says Naveen Pessani, technical category manager for Chocolate & Confectionery.”

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