Celebration in the immediate future
What will celebration in the immediate future look like as families around the world continue to adapt to their ‘new normal’? How will people mark occasions differently and where will their priorities lie?
The pandemic continues to bring about profound changes to our daily lives. With local lockdowns hitting in waves, curfews introduced and infection rates rising, many families remain anxious about their uncertain future and the predicament it could leave them in.
Finding a sense of optimism amongst the disruption is key and we expect to see families invest time and money into the things that bring them joy. In response, celebrations big and small will continue to become more thoughtful, considered and meaningful and will focus on what’s important – family time and togetherness (even if apart).
Embracing the seasons of change
We forecast huge opportunities for the Gift and Greetings industry; spend which has been diverted from eating and drinking out, will be re-allocated to making home entertaining more special. As we enter a new season and festive planning begins, we discuss what we expect celebration in the immediate future to look like over the coming months.
Accelerated trend – celebrating autumn
We’ve been tracking the uptick of consumers updating their homes for seasonal occasions for the past two years and the pandemic has only accelerated this trend. Many people working from home are finding the time to decorate and enjoy the transition into Autumn and are using seasonal styling to instil a sense of joy as well as mark new beginnings.
“There are two big catalysts driving this trend. The first being the rise of the creative consumer who actively enjoys to share their home online for a network of followers to ‘like’ and see. Secondly, is an emerging trend for modern witchcraft which sees individuals introduce rituals into their everyday in a bid to slow down and reconnect with themselves and the seasons of change. A new season, or more specifically the Autumnal equinox, offers an opportunity to regain balance, express gratitude and adjust mindsets.” Jenna Galley, Insight Editor at Trend Bible.
As households around the world embrace the Great Slow Down they’re paying more attention to the changing seasons and this is creating new opportunities for celebration and gifting, décor and seasonal food and drink. This year customers in the Northern hemisphere are embracing Autumn with gusto, decorating their homes seasonally, not just in preparation for Halloween. In fact sales of pumpkins are soaring to record levels not least as a result of families looking to outdoor activities like pumpkin harvesting and chestnut foraging for wholesome outdoor family fun.
In post-covid times, we’re looking to make every celebration, every occasion special, so creating these extra pockets of celebration in the Autumn will enable people to stay in the moment and celebrate without racing forward to Christmas. This shift in consumer behaviour provides a real commercial opportunity, particularly for retailers in the UK and Europe, who tend to focus on Halloween and then jump straight into Christmas.
As this trend escalates into 2021 expect to see a more global adoption or reimagining of Autumnal celebrations from around the world like Thanksgiving (USA) Diwali (India) and the Mooncake Festival (China).”
Halloween is set to look very different this year as officials discourage trick or treating and large gatherings and events. However, we don’t expect this to deter families from celebrating. Reports show Halloween sales are expected to remain steady in the UK and US and Not On The High Street recently revealed an 889% increase in searches for Halloween, with some planning from as early as August.
How will people celebrate Halloween this year?
- Socially distanced pumpkin trails organised by local communities
- Family scavenger hunts
- Halloween movie nights with costumes or matching Halloween pyjamas
- Online Halloween quizzes
- Pumpkin crafts and at-home baking
- Halloween themed dinners with decoratively styled tablescapes
Christmas and New Year
The uncertainty of the next 3-6 months has left many individuals questioning the festive period and how it will play out in a pandemic. Whilst the hustle and bustle of big family gatherings may no longer be on the cards, cherished family time will still sit at the heart.
What are the key shifts in consumer trends for Christmas 2020?
- With social restrictions and travel uncertainty restricting gatherings, we can expect to see a return to lockdown style virtual celebrations – from online carol services, online family dinners or a move towards smaller, intimate household celebrations.
- As forecast in our Come & Gather 2020 festive trend, expect to see a bigger focus on handmade and craft across decoration and gifting as families use the festive period to unleash their creativity and create thoughtful family keepsakes that can be used year after year.
- Staying in becomes the new going out as hospitality curfews and social restrictions interrupt Christmas party plans. In response, the homebody economy becomes an even bigger purchasing motivator this year with individuals focusing on creating the ultimate ‘insperience.‘ Expect elaborate dining, luxury loungewear, highly stylised bar carts and an uptick in food and drink subscriptions.
Our Festive Forecast 2022 is available to buy now for £1,400 (+VAT).