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Chocolate and alcohol top gift lists

Saturday October 30th 2004

IGD survey highlights most popular food giftsThe majority, 92 per cent, of consumers buy food and drink as gifts, with confectionery and alcohol the most popular, according to new consumer research from IGD.

The report Consumer Watch: Food for Special Occasions, found that confectionery and alcohol are the most popular products to give as gifts; 63 per cent give boxes of chocolates and 43 per cent give wine.

IGD found that men appreciate alcoholic gifts more than women. 24 per cent of men prefer beer, lager, cider, compared to 5 per cent of women

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, and over a third like to receive spirits compared to less than a quarter of women.
Women prefer champagne - 18 per cent compared to 15 per cent of men - and wine - 31 per cent compared to 16 per cent of men.

IGD found that women appreciate food gifts more than men *#*8211; twice as many women as men like to receive cakes, and 11 per cent like smoked salmon compared to 5 per cent of men while 17 per cent of women like a mixed food hamper compared to 11 per cent of men. Receiving gifts of food appeals more to older consumers aged 45-64. For example, 15 per cent of 45-54 year olds like to receive cheese, 12 per cent of 55-64 year olds appreciate smoked salmon and 18 per cent of 55-54 year olds would like a mixed food hamper.

When it comes to teenagers, chocolate, in any form, is the food and drink gift they most like to receive *#*8211; almost half of 15-17 year olds appreciate boxes of chocolates, and just under a quarter would like to receive block chocolate. As consumers get older, their taste for sweet foods turns to cakes and biscuits, with 14 per cent of 18-24 year olds appreciating cake as a gift, and 10 per cent of 55-64 year olds preferring biscuits.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD said: "The gift market is clearly competitive and open to more than just producers of confectionery and alcohol. Industry must communicate with consumers to build awareness of the breadth of possibilities for food and drink gifts from across categories, and innovation is essential to continually build the gift category as affluence and familiarity grows and gifts that were once a treat become everyday products."

Two-thirds of consumers use their usual supermarket for buying gift foods and drinks. Many buy them as part of their weekly shop, however IGD found that few consumers were prepared to admit this because although they appreciated the convenience, they felt that it showed that not enough thought was given to a gift purchased in this way. 16 per cent would choose a specialist retailer of that product, such as Whittards for tea and coffee.

Garden centres and department stores are also popular places to buy gift food and drink. The products there are likely to be different from normal brands and so not things that the recipient would normally buy. They are also more likely to be marketed as gifts, more expensive and wrapped appropriately.

Tags: IGD