With more families handling the holidays separately or via a Zoom connection, food gifting and holiday meal shipments is taking on a more important role this year. Packaged Facts’ National Consumer Survey conducted in February 2020 showed that 22% of consumers buying food gifts for others purchased such a gift for Thanksgiving. Additionally, 12% of consumers buying food gifts for themselves did so for Thanksgiving.
Many of the winter holidays place a focus upon family and fellowship around a dinner table. Thus, meal-oriented food gifts are an attractive option for Thanksgiving and other winter holidays. Giving the gift of a holiday dinner can save family or friends a lot of time cooking or shopping for ingredients and allow them to spend more time socializing.
Food gift sales can benefit from social distancing policies as food gifts can bring a sense of comfort and tradition to people who cannot be visited in-person or cannot travel. Additionally, they are a more practical gift in times of economic and personal hardship. Due to most food gift retailers having long-established online ordering and delivery operations, they are well suited to the 2020 shift to online orders and curbside pickup from brick-and-mortar operations.
Full meal gifts have accounted for a very small share of food gifts sent recently. However, this presents an opportunity in the pandemic era for families unable to travel or otherwise join the traditional holiday celebrations. Businesses taking advantage of this trend will span from traditional food gift companies (e.g., Hickory Farms, Honey Baked Ham) to meal kits companies (e.g., Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Dinnerly, Marley Spoon), restaurants, and even grocery stores.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see Packaged Facts’ food- and beverage-related reports, including Consumer and Corporate Food Gifting and US Food Market Outlook 2020: Home Cooking, Grocery Shopping & Food Trends in the Age of Coronavirus. The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research provides a strong complement to packaged food industry analysis, including packaging industry titles such as the update of Pouches (coming soon), as well as Global Foodservice Single-Use Products and Global Single-Use Packaging Regulations. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.