Top trends in retail, food and culture that will influence Christmas consumer purchasing

In the third installation of Nine’s annual Unboxing Christmas research series as part of The Big Ideas Store, a survey by Nine in partnership with Crowd.DNA, looked at how big trends in retail, food and culture is set to influence consumer purchasing decisions this Christmas .

With 32 weeks until Christmas, the key trends emerging for marketers to tap into are less wasteful gifting; inclusion in marketing of the festive season; ‘framely’, a term described as friends who are as important to you as your family, as well as and mental and physical health.

After an unpredictable and relentlessly exhausting two years, one third of Australians are intending to break with tradition and seek out new ways to celebrate the festive season.

When it comes to purchasing, this year will see Black Friday – on 25 November – officially overtake Boxing Day as the premium sales event of the season.

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But consumers will be focused on meaningful gifting, with 81% of Australians concerned about the amount of waste involved in Christmas gifting. Indeed, more than 70% believe stocking fillers are a waste for adults.

“Australians are seeking the right mix of practical and emotional when it comes to gifting,” said Nine’s director of strategy and insights, Toby Boon. “The broader cultural shift towards sustainability is changing how we spend at Christmas. Stocking-stuffers are out, and shared experiences are in. Travel will be topping the wish list for many consumers this year.”

The pandemic has had a lasting effect on Australians, with 51% losing connection with friends over the last two years. This will result in a more social Christmas than ever before as friends re-connect, with many expecting to celebrate “multiple Christmases” by embracing ‘framely’.

The study also revealed that the pandemic has severely impacted Australia’s mental and physical health, with the majority looking at this Christmas as a time to rejuvenate and concentrate on their health and wellbeing.

Travel will also define the coming summer holidays, with 32% planning on getting away at Christmas.

Crowd.DNA director, Stephanie Winkler, said the pandemic research showed the trends seen last year during lockdowns are here to stay, and a lot of new trends are emerging on the horizon.

“A lot of the cultural shifts we’ve seen during COVID-19 are really starting to play out, especially everything from what we eat and drink to our desire to travel and wellness,” she said. “The way we shop has changed over the past two years and we’re starting to see some of these longer term changes come to life, and a lot of new trends for brands to connect with consumers this season.”

“The increasing universality of Christmas is an opportunity for marketers; it’s more secular and more inclusive than ever before. There are more reasons to celebrate and more occasions to celebrate so it’s not just the one big day,” added Winkler.

The research conducted by Powered and Crowd.DNA was presented at The Big Ideas Store in the session ‘Unboxing Christmas 2022’ on Thursday, 12 May.

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