Our big Christmas predictions

Real spend will come late, but we’ll start ‘celebrating’ early

The gloom and fatigue of uncertainty means everyone is ready for some merriment and distraction. Things which enable us to start early, without any guilt. Immersive activities with family and friends will be popular. We’ll seek out the Christmas-mood on Netflix as early as possible, and make a trip to the Cinema for festive movies and traditional films which take us back to cosy, family times like Downton, Dickens’ David Copperfield and Cats. There could also be room for a few affordable buys (advent calendars, festive clothing and Christmassy candles/home fragrance).

We’ll break free of traditional presents and gift time

Indulging in a special activity or celebration will be a popular gift, a friendship group deciding on a meal out, posh cocktails or a theatre evening. Consumers will reject restrictive and impersonal coupons/tickets/vouchers and simply organise the event themselves. Putting pressure on traditional, shoppable present spending but creating opportunity for new players to enter the gifting market. Opening huge potential for restaurants and bars – especially as we know that an immersive dining experience will increase spending (of course we’re having the second bottle of wine… and dessert!)

To be a super-host we’ll need an inclusive offering

It’s not just the main event that needs to be delicious and beautiful, there needs to be something for everyone. Vegan and veggie options will up the ante on previous years making meat-eaters jealous and desperate to try – so will options for guests with special diets who require gluten/lactose/nut free. Plus, there will be extra pressure on the bar too – orange juice and lemonade won’t cut it  by non-drinkers, they’ll be expecting more choice and special options on no/low alcohol. Of course this means there could be many hosts buying as total novices, so visual short-cuts which cue ‘crowd-pleaser’ will win (awards, customer endorsements, show-stopper designs, familiar trends).

Definition of ‘perfect gift’ evolves – it’s personal, not personalised

We’ll start to see through name adornments, a token identity stamp. We’re looking for true personality, uniqueness, a story – something that feels chosen for you, not simply looks like it’s for you. A careful selection of favourite grocery items like breakfast cereal and chocolate spread will say I love you better than an embossed ‘A’ washbag. We’ll see a rise in ‘homemade’ gifts – which could mean crafting, or more likely a curation of the recipients most coveted low-cost products (mindfulness hamper, gaming night-in snacks, ingredients plus recipe for a new bake).

We’ll be conflicted between sustainability and tradition

While we’ll claim to be conscious angels the routine of rituals will mean a lot of mindless spending. We’ll preach that the world doesn’t need more plastic, but we won’t think twice about all the packaging surrounding our party food… until we’re clearing it up and feel pangs of disgust. We’ll nail the convenient switches – we predict Christmas cards to be a big casualty, no unnecessary paper and the effort save of finding all those addresses – win-win! We also predict a few big messages will cut through, we’ll seek out recyclable wrapping paper and forsake Christmas crackers. Simple, achievable and smothered in social pressure.

‘Gimmicks in disguise’ – we’ll cut back unnecessary frills for more wholesome unnecessary frills

Part sustainability driven, but mostly about being spending savvy, we’ll steer away from novelty extras and silly gifts. We’ll tell ourselves it’s all about being smart, but really they’ll be replaced with more immersive, authentic buys… gimmicks in disguise (Christmas bedding/cushions/throws, festive dining ranges, Christmas socks, pet accessories).

Desperate for social proof, we’ll all be drawn to shareable photo-opportunities

The tree might be decorated and the lights switched on, but the house isn’t truly ready for Christmas until the decorations are on Instagram. It’s not just the joy of soaking up the moment – we need a souvenir! With a focus on immersive festive moments and creating magic at home we’ll be desperate to share. Brands which create aspirational, shareable moments will enjoy the buzz of being talked about, and stick in our memories.

In just 20 minutes you’ll get to hear:

  • Our big Christmas predictions and the consumer sentiment/trends driving them
  • Who we think will be the winning and losing brands and categories
  • Why you should be adapting to evolving sentiment and buying habits over the festive season and how our Christmas Unwrapped insights can help you win

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