3 ways shoppers are getting in the party spirit!

After a year of much doom and gloom in the headlines, many consumers have told us how this Christmas is even more about getting together with family and friends. One key way of doing this is to host a gathering or party, with consumers claiming these are becoming more prevalent than ever! The timings of Christmas this year helps  –  creating a whole weekend to make the most of. Meanwhile, more complex family structures means many are hosting more than just one event. Also, as social media continues to permeate our lives, it’s the perfect opportunity to get some ‘Instagram-worthy’ snaps to share. ​Here we take a look at the key trends emerging this Christmas party season.

Drinking gets more experimental

There’s been a big surge in popularity around gin, prosecco and craft ales; making alcohol feel more experimental and fun again! Building up supplies of these also makes sense given the widespread desire to drink at home and avoid the high prices found in pubs and bars. Gin is at the forefront of this trend. The sheer number of variations (from rhubarb to frankincense to lemon drizzle) makes it feel easier to be more adventurous at home. Prosecco is getting added bling from things like rose gold and flavoured glitter and liquid-filled ‘bursting bubbles’.

Discounters have never looked so good

Whilst, for many, Waitrose and M&S still set the standards in terms of impressing guests, people also say that the discounters have definitely upped their game again this year. Aldi and Iceland, in particular, are felt to be offering more innovative party food at unbelievable prices, whilst Lidl has won praise for its award-winning wines, ales and spirits. With more parties and gatherings to cope with, shoppers have found the discounters to be ever-more appealing solutions – often visiting them for ‘the bulk of party food’ then using the likes of Waitrose and M&S, strategically, for the touches that impress!

Party envy booms!

Be it bought goods or baking, consumers are looking to make an even more special impression this Christmas. This mainly involves three tactics. Firstly, the search for ever-more unique and exciting Christmas food; many craving new twists on traditional classics like Black Forest Battenberg and the addition of trendy gin and prosecco to just about everything. Meanwhile, shoppers are going extra special on things like biscuit tins, Christmas cake and mince pies from premium retailers like Fortnum & Mason or smaller, artisan players. Secondly, big, sharing and interactive centrepieces are loved for their power to make memorable moments –  fondue and Lidl’s croquembouche being popular examples. Thirdly, some are employing home-made elements to impress. Party games and table dressing are getting more attention as everyone looks to conjure the most memorable and readily snapped event.

Left to right (clockwise) - M&S party food gets hand-decorated; Waitrose offers a Prosecco Turkey; Aldi makes gin into mince pies; Asda goes extra special on puddings and Tesco's gives us a musical biscuit tin!

Party food gets hand-decorated at M&S
Gin makes it into mince pies!
ASDA goes extra special on puddings!
Tesco gives us a musical biscuit tin!
Waitrose offers a Prosecco Turkey!

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3 ways shoppers are getting in the party spirit