Ten holiday consumer insights from Mintel

Chicago -- With the holiday season in full swing, Mintel, a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence, has looked into its market intelligence to find out just what U.S. consumers do to make their holidays special.

Here are 10 interesting insights:
 
• Some 13% of U.S. consumers think a cell phone is a good gift for children aged 6-11, up from just 4% earlier this year.

• November is the most popular time to start shopping for holiday gifts, with nearly one-third (30%) of US shoppers starting then. However, 15% start their holiday shopping in December – the majority (18%) are male.

• Roughly one-third (32%) of Americans expect stores to offer boxes for holiday gifts; close to a quarter (22%) plan to cut down on the number of people they buy gifts for; and, more than two in 10 browse in-store, but buy online to save money.

• Twenty-seven percent of U.S. consumers say that when they go gift shopping for the holidays, they usually wind up buying something for themselves.

• From last year's holiday season (i.e. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.), the average amount of money spent on video gaming equipment as gifts for other people was $78.

• Skipping the wrapping paper? Twenty-one percent of Americans say they only use it rarely if at all, since gift bags are so plentiful.

Forty-two percent of Americans say they bought Christmas decorations in the past year, compared with only 24% for Halloween and 14% for Easter.

• Close to three in 10 (29%) U.S. consumers say they bought a fragrance as a gift for someone else on Christmas. The winter holidays represent the peak season for fragrance sales.

• More than a quarter (28%) of Mintel respondents buy candles specifically for the holidays.

• Nearly one in five (18%) of U.S. consumers claim they "absolutely have to entertain guests for the holidays."

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