This year brands, retailers and consumers have prepared for major changes related to holiday celebrations, spending and gifting, according to “The 2020 Challenge: Keeping Spirits Bright This Holiday Season,” a new report by Advantage Sales, a division of Advantage Solutions.
Nearly nine in 10 consumers cited that COVID-19 has impacted their 2020 holiday plans, according to the report, which is based on the responses of 1,027 adults, each of whom typically participates in at least one of the major winter holidays, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Participant responses were fielded this fall by Advantage Sales’ SMARTeam.
“Communities across the nation are seeing a holiday season like never before,” said Kimberly Senter, executive vice president, analytics, insights and intelligence at Advantage Sales. “As the winter holidays are projected to be impacted by changes in consumer demand and sentiment, Advantage’s research outlines where retailers and brands can find new ways to bring the holiday spirit to Americans who are, more than ever, craving connection.”
Consumers are planning to turn to e-commerce alternatives for holiday shopping vs. brick-and-mortar locations as concerns over safety and economic stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic affect holiday spending plans. Nearly four in 10 households said their finances were worse because of the pandemic, and of this group, 30% plan to buy cheaper brands, compared to 21% of the total respondents.
While 35% of consumers expect to attend fewer celebrations overall this year, households that have been financially impacted by the pandemic show outsized declines in holiday participation with an outlook generally more negative than the average. Overall, Thanksgiving is projected to experience the steepest decline in participation, with a roughly 30-percentage-point drop. Thanksgiving, coupled with New Year’s Eve (27-point decrease), Christmas (23-point decrease) and Black Friday (18-point decrease), totaled the top four hardest-hit holidays amid the 2020 season.
For consumers who are planning to celebrate the holidays, 40% are planning to attend smaller, more intimate gatherings. This change in gatherings signals the need for brands to adjust to people buying smaller-sized holiday dishes with a range of traditional and nontraditional foods. Prepared meal kits, smaller turkey and ham meals, and personal-size pies and desserts should be in high demand throughout the season.
More holiday shopping is expected to shift online this year as curbside pickup and at-home delivery of groceries are likely to see a large increase in popularity. In addition, more than half of consumers (52%) plan to shop for gifts at more online stores, with digital gifting, such as gift cards, expected to be a safe replacement for physical presents. Many respondents are avoiding giving experiential gifts, while others will be looking to stretch their dollars — and provide activities for people spending more time at home — with gifts for the whole family rather than individuals. Among gift givers, nearly half of respondents plan to spend between $100 and $499. One-third of shoppers state they will have a smaller gift-giving budget this year.
Among the report’s findings:
- 42% plan to order more of their non-food groceries online compared to last year
- 40% will continue to shop in person at brick-and-mortar locations for last-minute grocery needs
- 35% plan to order more of their food groceries online compared to last year
- 52% of respondents stated they expect there to be shortages of some grocery items before the end of 2020
Download “The 2020 Challenge: Keeping Spirits Bright This Holiday Season” and other reports at: advantagesolutions.net/newsroom
WGSN FOOD & DRINK FORECASTS EIGHT KEY TRENDS FOR 2021
WGSN, the global authority on trend forecasting, announces Eight Key Trends for 2021 from its new Food & Drink forecasting platform.
The trends reveal what’s next in plant-based innovation, convenient quaffing, functional ingredients and comfort food. Rapid changes fueled by Covid-19 have affected how consumers shop, eat and gather around food.
“With a focus on inspiring and informing strategic new product design, we used a consumer-first approach to analyze and forecast the trends food makers and brands need to know now for future success,” says Kara Nielsen, WGSN’s Director of Food & Drink and a long-time food trend authority. “Our research points to these trends to meet consumer needs and desires next year and to inspire innovative new products with global potential.”
The 2021 Trends are:
1. Make Room for Labriculture – The food-tech arena will surge with lab-grown beef, seafood and dairy joining plant-based meat and dairy by year’s end as alternatives to animal products.
2. Craveable Vegan – Expect tastier vegan tacos, soul food and indulgent snacks from chefs and creators pairing exciting plant-based ingredients with favourite flavors.
3. Coffee Convenience – Homebound coffee drinking is yielding more convenient coffee formats like concentrates, steeped, single-serve bags and edible coffee snacks.
4. Canned Everything – Along with canned wine, cocktails and hard beverages, 2021 will welcome innovation in sustainable aluminum cans to support our passion for portable potables.
5. Crazy for Cacao – Chocolate lovers will have more to enjoy thanks to resourceful new products being created from cacao pods, and increased attention to cacao’s heritage and preservation.
6. Burnt Basque Cheesecake – This buzzy dessert’s oozing, creamy center and alluring charred top will move from Instagram comfort-food darling to menu and freezer-case treat.
7. Brain Food – It’s been hard to focus this year. Brands will leverage the mental clarity benefits of L-Theanine, the amino acid that powers green tea and other nootropics, to help us think clearly.
8. Sleepy Time Eats – Need some rest? Turn to new food and drink designed to promote a good night’s sleep, from natural botanicals, fruits and other nutritious ingredients.