It's beginning to look a lot like food gifting season.
Market research firm Packaged Facts estimates 54 percent of those who purchased food gifts for others in the last year have done so for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Likewise, 29 percent of those who have purchased food gifts for themselves have done so during this period.
Packaged Facts published the findings in the sixth edition of its report “Food Gifting in the U.S.: Consumer and Corporate.”
"The winter holidays have become a food gifting mainstay," says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. "Even food gifting sales for other popular occasions including birthdays, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day can't match the flurry of activity during the winter holidays."
Overall, boxed chocolates and candies remain the most prevalent food gift shoppers purchase for others, with 27 percent of food gifters purchasing boxed chocolates and candies for someone else in the past 12 months. Other widely purchased food gifts include coffee/tea/hot chocolate gifts, sweet baked gift foods, nut/salty snack gift foods, and popcorn tins/gifts.
Not to be overlooked, convenience is a motivating factor food gift purchasers cite as a reason for choosing these types of presents. Part of convenience involves delivery availability and purchase convenience for out-of-state gifting. Givers also often consider food gifts as ideal for people who "don't really need anything" but who nevertheless would enjoy a high-quality and attractive present.
While online shopping may be an important component of the food gifting purchase experience, it remains a supplementary driver. Some 29 percent of food gifters say they look for specialty food gifts they can purchase online.
Packaged Facts estimates 36 percent of shoppers have purchased food gifts at Walmart and 27 percent purchased them at similar stores such as Target and Kmart. Roughly 30 percent purchased food gifts from a traditional supermarket and 28 percent did so from a warehouse club.
Nearly a quarter of survey respondents used Amazon to buy food gifts, while one in 10 respondents use Amazon for most of their food gifting needs. Other digital-only options, such as online floral retailers and other online-only retailers, rank near the bottom of the list.