Understanding consumer needs

This Christmas, we’re not only here to help you find the right products for your menu but also to give you exclusive insights to really help you shape your Christmas plans.


We conducted some consumer research to understand, and to help you understand the sentiment around Christmas 2021, and what will be top of mind for consumers when they’re deciding how and where to celebrate the festive season.

We were interested in finding out if, and how, the pandemic may have influenced consumers’ intentions for the festive season, Christmas Day and New Years Eve.

Below are some of our key insights but for even more details we have created a report that you can access by clicking here

There’s a real pent-up demand for celebrating the festive season out of home

Most people (75% in fact) intend to go out for food or drinks either as often or more often than they did in previous years before the pandemic. So, it’s important that you know how to hit the mark with your customers to make sure you’re the venue of choice for.

More people are staying in the UK this year

With almost 6 out of 10 saying they don’t intend to have a holiday or short break during the festive season. And those who are going away, are more likely to be staying within the UK. This highlights an opportunity for higher footfall in local restaurants, venues and retail sites. Tying global cuisines into festive menus or special set menus could be one way to help consumers escape to other places through their food, and create a sense of adventure.

What’s more, over a fifth of people said this year they’d be taking less holidays than they usually would before the pandemic. For this group, who are missing out on their usual festive holidays or breaks, premium dining or leisure experiences might have appeal – as an alternative to their trip.

Over 6 in 10 people said they want this Christmas to feel extra special

Which isn’t surprising given the tough times we’ve been in over the past year or so. But what’s it going to take to make this year special? And what do people mean by ‘special’?

Christmas this year is without a doubt all about being with loved ones, and socialising with family and friends.  So, group occasions and friends or family get-togethers are likely to be big this year, whether in homes or in the out-of-home market.

The question is how can you bring to life that spirit and experience of Christmas that will attract traffic and repeat visits, and meet consumer expectations? A cosy atmosphere seems to be a big draw for consumers as well as the sound of Christmas music playing in the background and festive decorations.

The fundamentals of quality, price and safety are still absolutely key in consumers’ minds

With 50% of people saying they’ll be more cost conscious when they go out this Christmas. This was quite evident from the responses we saw when asking people how much they expect to spend, and although there are some opportunities for premium occasions our research suggests consumers won’t be splashing out, perhaps due to the high frequency of going out.

Set menus are a good way to attract customers looking at a certain price point.

New Year’s Eve appears to be a low tempo occasion for most people this year

With 56% wanting a quieter New Year’s Eve to normal, and only a third saying they can’t wait to celebrate it. 47% say they still feel nervous about going out this New Year’s Eve – which isn’t too surprising given that the occasion is typically associated with groups of people drinking, hugging, and being close.

So keep communicating your safety and hygiene measures and any social distancing policies in place to give your customers piece of mind but also embrace the opportunity created with people staying at home this new years’ eve with takeaway options and at home cooking kits.

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