Best case scenario, the multibillion dollar U.S. food gifting market is expected to be hit less hard by the coronavirus-created economic uncertainty than other consumer-oriented product areas, according to the market research report Consumer and Corporate Food Gifting in the U.S., 7th Edition by Packaged Facts.
Food gifts can be a preferable option for gift giving during the coronavirus pandemic because they are practical, easy to ship, comforting, and a good way to send treats to someone who cannot be visited because of social distancing.
Don’t be surprised if this coming Easter (April 12, 2020) provides ample opportunities for self-quarantined Americans to let off a little steam—even if only from afar. Last year, those celebrating Easter in 2019 spent an estimated $18 billion on the holiday, equating to $151 spent per celebrant and broken out across several categories ranging from candy and food to clothing, greeting cards, flowers, and decorations. In addition, there were those who didn’t necessarily plan on celebrating Easter who still shopped Easter-related sales.
While food is a major Easter expense, food gifting provides additional opportunities:
- Roughly 20% of food gifters have given someone a specialty food gift for Easter in the last 12 months, per Packaged Facts’ 2020 national online survey featured in the report.
- This population is much smaller than the nearly half of U.S. adults celebrating Easter in 2019, revealing that food gift marketers have a broad population to target for further sales.
Candies and chocolates are traditionally given to children in an Easter basket, and food gifts for adults also may come in a basket decorated for Easter. Gift sets specifically for Easter traditionally feature rabbits, eggs, and pastel colors.
What makes Easter even more intriguing, especially during this era of social distancing, are the chances that consumers will purchase an Easter food gift for themselves instead of for someone else. Packaged Facts found that along with Thanksgiving and Halloween, Easter is among the occasions almost as popular with Americans for self-gifting as they are for gifting to others.
In addition, Easter, much like Christmas, is a major occasion popular for food gifting in the U.S. that has religious roots, something the food gifting industry certainly keeps in mind. However, both Easter and Christmas have become celebrated across many groups, making them more important as cultural rather than religious events for many consumers.