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It’s beginning to cost a lot this Christmas: New research reveals Brits will buy fewer gifts amid cost of living challenges

19 October, 2022 | 

Posted at 10:31 am 

by Pureprofile 

  • 62% of Brits are buying fewer gifts to keep their budgets in check
  • 45% of Brits will spend less on food and drink this year, compared to 25% last year
  • 33% will look to buy cheaper alternatives to keep costs at bay
  • 30% of Brits prefer to receive money this Christmas so they can choose how to spend

LONDON, 19 October 2022: New research conducted by global data and insights company, Pureprofile Limited (ASX: PPL), shows Brits are spending less on their Christmas festivities, compared to previous years as a result of the rising cost of living.

Based on a nationally representative sample of 1023 panel members, Pureprofile’s 2022 Christmas Report revealed that although over 52% of Brits feel positively about Christmas, there is nevertheless a note of caution as we approach the festive season. 39% of Brits stated increased financial costs as the biggest concern as we navigate the cost of living crisis; a significant increase from the 31% in 2021.

Whilst clothes and luxury items still feature high on Christmas wish lists, 32% would like to receive gift cards and 30% prefer money, providing Brits the option to spend as they please or on a gift of their own choosing.

A frugal festive season  

The ongoing cost of living crisis and rising interest rates have forced many Brits to carefully consider how to stretch their money. Buying fewer gifts is the top budgetary measure that 62% of people will take this year, while 22% say they will only buy gifts for children, as a means to relieve the financial pressure. 

Brits plan to spend £325 on gifts this year (£2 less than last year’s £327) and have decreased their average Christmas food and drink budget to £207, compared to £212 last year. 45% of Brits claim they will spend less on their grocery shop this year, which is a considerable increase compared to the 25% who said the same in 2021. To combat the rising cost of living, 1/3 said they will search for cheaper food alternatives. 

Pureprofile’s Managing Director UK/EU and US, Tim Potter, said: “The UK has seen some challenging Christmases over recent years, and while we share a sense of optimism for the festive season this year, there is an underlying sense of financial uncertainty giving rise to feelings of caution.

“The cost of living crisis and rising interest rates have meant many families have already had to reassess their finances and cut back on spending. Brits will be prioritising food that offers more for their money and stretches budgets that little bit further. Similarly, the gifts we choose will likely be more considered and functional as we become more cost-conscious shoppers this season. Although we’re seeing shopping commencing earlier this year, retailers will still need to consider consumer mindsets and provide real value for money to meet smaller budgets.” 

Gifting & receiving this Christmas

In spite of the economic challenges, Brits prefer to receive clothes (36%), gift cards (32%) and food, confectionery & drinks (31%), with the latter being a consistent top choice over the past three years (1 in 3).

Money is becoming a popular choice, with 30% of Brits wanting to receive and 30% choosing to give to others so they may choose to spend as they wish. This has risen in popularity over the last 3 years with 28% preferring to give money in 2021 and 23% in 2020. 

The online shopping trend continues to grow, with 53% of people saying they will make their Christmas purchases online. Brits will start planning their shopping early, with 77% saying they will commence between September through to November. This can be attributed to the need for financial planning and budgeting while food costs continue to rise with inflation. 

Additional areas covered in the research include British beliefs on religion and spirituality, online and in-store spending preferences and travel behaviour.


About Pureprofile

Pureprofile’s vision is to deliver more value from the world’s information.

We are a global data and insights organisation providing industry-leading online research solutions to agencies, marketers, researchers and brands & businesses.

Our research delivers rich insights into real human behaviour and provides the “Why” behind the “What” through our unique ResTech and SaaS solutions. We build in-depth profiles of consumers via our proprietary and partner panels and give businesses the ability to understand, target, and ultimately engage with their audiences.

The Company, founded in 2000 and based in Surry Hills, Australia, now operates in North America, Europe and APAC and has delivered solutions for over 850 clients.

Media contact:

Tim Potter for Pureprofile UK / EU / US
M: +44 (0)783 3702 450

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