Are you all wrapped up ready for Christmas? Or are you missing that extra bit of sparkle?

There’s still an opportunity to make sure that you’re aligning you promotional message to the key drivers of consumer choice and broadening your appeal.  There are five major themes driving consumer purchasing behaviour: our planet, plant-based, functional wellness, life well-lived and the remaining impact of the covid #19 pandemic.  Within each of these are multiple trends and it’s worth exploring if you can link your product or service to these trends.  While it’s too late for major product or packaging changes, the beauty of digital marketing is that you can adapt your message to changing opportunities very quickly while still remaining consistent and on-message.

An increasing number of consumers are looking for sustainability messages around packaging. So are you avoiding or using less plastic, is your packaging reusable and upcyclable?  If so, are you shouting about it?  Do you have other messages related to sustainability, for example local ingredients or sustainable supply chains?  Build a sustainability message into your promotional activities where you can.

If you have a plant-based or functional wellness message associated with your product then take the opportunity to highlight this.  Think about your target consumer and what the different generations are looking for in their food & drink products.

Life well-lived combines a number of smaller trends such as ‘life slower’ and self-indulgence, mindfulness and self-care.    There is an increased interest in products that satisfy these consumer needs.  So can you talk about your product in terms of slowing down, taking time to relax, encouraging consumers to take some time out?  Even better if products can be presented as customised and personalised gifts.  Consumers are also looking to alleviate guilt, whether that is purchasing products that have a positive impact on the planet or products from businesses with good values and ethics, or products that are linked to charities, thus alleviating social guilt.

Everyday we’re reminded of the impact of the covid #19 pandemic and many of the above trends owe much of their growth to this.  Many consumers strengthened their links to the countryside and outdoor activities, to mindful activities and community initiatives.  Many are also reassessing what is important to them – so what in your product or business story can you highlight to satisfy and stimulate interest?  Can your product draw on the local countryside, a craving for a simpler way of life or nostalgia for things from our past?  Can you make the most of the increased interest in nature and the outdoors?  This could be by promoting ideas of where and how your products can be consumed like a winter picnic.  So look at the opportunities to create a social connection for people when they buy your product.

The pandemic has changed how many see and interact with family and friends and the way people gift is changing.  One Christmas trend is the desire to get out and do things, so there is an opportunity around experience gifts, whether that is a tasting / making event, a trail or a visit bought as a gift to be enjoyed in the new year.  Are you able to create subscriptions for your product or service that can be given as gifts? Can you collaborate with others to promote a gift package related to a meal, an occasion or a local tradition?

Getting ready for Christmas is a time that helps many of us feel more optimistic and connected to our families and friends, which is more pertinent than ever this year.  So why not take advantage of these trending opportunities, what have you got to lose by trying?

Remember that it’s also not just for this Christmas, create loyalty, long term gifts like experiences and subscriptions, gifts that provide you with income now and also into the future like part payments for future experiences or subscriptions.

So as consumers clammer for that last minute gift, what’s your story?  What will the consumer unwrap about your product this Christmas to help them see your product as the perfect Christmas gift?


Ceri Ritchie

Head of Food & Enterprise, SAC Consulting