Most households to celebrate Christmas without cutting spending: NielsenIQ

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Majority of UK households stated they would like to celebrate Christmas like they have always done – without cutting spending, despite inflation and higher energy prices, stated a recent report, adding that while cheese, bread and chocolate pegged to be top food categories that Britons plan to buy, beer, soft drink and wine are expected to be found in most shopping baskets.

According to NielsenIQ’s new consumer study “Unwrapping Europeans’ Holiday Outlook Results”, 62 per cent of consumers in the UK are Christmas enthusiasts for whom emotional aspects such as enjoying the holidays with their family and celebrating with friends are very important.

Cautious Christmas shoppers represent 39 per cent of the consumers. NielsenIQ noted that this group is strongly affected by the increase in energy prices and is likely to reduce spending or advance purchases in expectation of even higher prices.

Meanwhile, the expected expenditure this Christmas was found to be equal or less than last year. 63 per cent of UK households stated their budget on food and beverages (at home or dining out), gifts and travel will be the same as 2021’s budget. 27 per cent would like to spend less money on these categories this year and 10 per cent of the shoppers indicate they will increase their budget for Christmas.

Paul Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insights at NielsenIQ UK, commented, “In our Christmas study, we’ve seen how much emotional value the holiday has for consumers in the UK. The majority do not want to give up the usual traditions and spoil themselves and their loved ones with gifts and good food.

“At the same time, the budget for the festive season has remained the same or even decreased for most people. Consumers are aware of how important it is, therefore, to make the most of their budget, for example by shopping early and taking advantage of special offers.”

Looking at Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the majority of shoppers stated that they would like to shop if they spot good opportunities. Particularly when it comes to food (34 per cent) and gifts (31 per cent), UK shoppers said they are likely to take advantage of the two shopping events to buy gifts for themselves, their homes or other people in advance.

NielsenIQ noted that supermarkets are the most popular shopping channel for food, beverages hygiene & beauty as well as gifts. 59 per cent of the consumer spending on beverages will be made in a physical store and 51 per cent of the food shopping will take place in a supermarket.

Cheese (68 per cent), bread (66 per cent) and chocolate (60 per cent) are the top three food categories that UK consumers plan to buy this Christmas. In the beverage category, beers (52 per cent), soft drinks (49 per cent) and wine (37 per cent) will also feature in shopping baskets.

Despite looking for more promotions, shoppers would not give up premium purchases during Christmas. 37 per cent of the respondents stated they will purchase premium cheese, fresh meat and chocolate tables; 35 per cent favour premium beer and 36 per cent will choose premium wines.

Among the Christmas gifts UK shoppers will be giving out this year, gourmet products such as chocolates, sweets and wines (35 per cent) were among the most popular categories.