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Christmas is coming - early!


Half (51%) of UK families with kids aged 7-11 have already started planning their Christmas celebrations. Despite huge uncertainty around what Christmas will be like this year, two-thirds (66%) of kids admitted to being just as or even more excited about Christmas this year.

In fact, a third (30%) of UK kids had already started writing their Christmas lists by the third week in September and one in four (23%) expect to have a much bigger say in deciding how family celebrations will go this year. This increase in influence is likely down to the increased time families are spending together. Now half of families (51%) with children aged 7-11 eat their evening meal together with nearly two-fifths (39%) doing it more since lockdown.

Here are the key trends for brands to know this Christmas:

Family Time: With the threat of a second lockdown, families have a huge desire for virtual ways to connect and play with family members who have not been able to physically get together. Following the huge surge in family quizzes in the Spring, Christmas 2020 promises another influx along with a second surge in family baking, cooking and boardgames. Many families are also suffering with board game fatigue following the first lockdown and are looking for new alternatives for the festive period so brands offering new and original game ideas will cut through this season.

Local shopping: In the absence of large Christmas events such as markets, pantomimes and Winter Wonderland, families will be staying local this year and seeing what their hometown has to offer. They will also be investing in decorating their homes, particularly on the outside, to show that Christmas isn’t cancelled so it’s time for brands to target families on a hyper-local level to ensure they’re part of the festivities and think of original ideas to bring the Christmas spirit to UK communities.

New Traditions: Following on from the huge spike in drive-in cinemas this year, families will be looking for socially distanced, Christmas-equivalent experiences. With pantomimes and festive theatre trips cancelled, families will be turning to streaming services such as Disney+ and Netflix for their Christmas magic. When it comes to gifting, sales of matching Christmas costumes and jumpers snowballed among families in recent years so given the prospect of an at home, informal Christmas, matching presents including Christmas onesies will be massive this year.

Pete Maginn, Director of Insight at Beano Brain, “Family festive planning has definitely moved earlier this year. Although there’s still so much uncertainty on how families will be able to celebrate we’re already seeing levels of planning in September that didn’t happen until November last year. With so many celebrations having to be cancelled this year, festive celebrations are going to be more important to families than ever before and there’s a huge opportunity for brands and organisations to help them keep the magic alive.”

We have been tracking the daily behaviours and sentiments of Gen Alpha, Gen Z their parents since mid-March to identify and assess the impact of the unprecedented global events of 2020. The study so far has included direct to kids quantitative research with more than 3 million UK aged 7-14 through the Beano Brain Omnibus and over 150 hours of qualitative interviews and tasks with its longitudinal Trendspotter kids, teens and parents panels. With family life changing at a rapid rate we aim to quickly spot trends to help brands understand and better engage with families right now, as well as prepare for the future.


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