Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

Gifting - Canada - November 2019

"Gifting is changing and the reasons for doing so now run much broader than just traditional occasions. Gifting now includes more ‘mundane’ situations like going to someone’s house for dinner and treating oneself in both good times and bad. Preferences for the types of gifts given and desired are also evolving. Marketers must work harder to both keep up and bring consumers along. In this regard, companies have never been better positioned to connect with consumers as tech and digital platforms are making the gift purchasing process easier, while also putting more control in the hands of the gift receiver."

– Carol Wong-Li, Associate Director - Lifestyles & Leisure

This report examines the following issues:

  • Holidays get all the attention, but gifting happens all year-round
  • Preference for giving gift cards is edging out traditional gifts
  • The potential of experiences as gifts has not been unlocked

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Executive Summary

      • The insights
        • Holidays get all the attention, but gifting happens all year-round
          • Figure 1: Occasions consumers typically give gifts for, September 2019
        • Preference for giving gift cards is edging out traditional gifts
          • Figure 2: Attitudes towards monetary gifts, September 2019
        • The potential of experiences as gifts has not been unlocked
          • Figure 3: Gift giving preferences, September 2019
        • The opportunities
          • Promoting self-gifting – in good times and bad
            • Figure 4: Self-gifting tendencies and occasions (% agree), September 2019
          • As gifting isn’t all fun and games, consumers wish for more wish lists
            • Figure 5: ‘I wish more retailer apps/websites would have wish lists for people to keep track of their ideas’ (% agree), by age, September 2019
          • Home-based meals and celebrations are a gift to gifting
            • Figure 6: ‘I would rather host/treat recipients to a meal than give a traditional gift’ (% agree), by age, September 2019
          • What it means
          • The Market – What You Need to Know

            • Interest in gifting may wane as consumer confidence softens
              • Seamless experiences count for more as online shopping picks up
                • Amazon’s presence continues to loom
                  • Younger consumers are more keen on experiences
                    • More diversity means more potential gifting occasions
                    • Market Factors

                      • Softening confidence in financial health may negatively impact gifting
                        • Figure 7: Perception of financial health, January/February 2016-19
                      • Seamless experiences matter as more consumers go online
                        • Figure 8: Percentage of total shopping done online, April 2018
                      • Younger consumers are prioritizing experiences
                        • Figure 9: “I’d rather spend money on experiences than things” (% any agree), by generation, June 2019
                        • Figure 10: “I prefer to receive experiences (eg movie/concert ticket) rather than physical gift items” (% any agree), by generation, September 2019
                      • The presence of Amazon looms large
                        • Figure 11: Percentage of total online shopping done on Amazon, April 2018
                      • Increased diversity may open up more gifting occasions
                        • Figure 12: Distribution of foreign-born population in Canada, by region of birth, 1871 to 2036
                      • Embracing diversity will matter more to Gen Z
                        • Figure 13: Self-identification of ethnicity, by generation, June 2019
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • A gift to gifting: Canadians like to host meals
                        • Amazon’s presence looms large and will take up more space in gifting
                          • Marketers are missing out on men, good potential lies with fathers
                            • More companies are building bridges to address pain points
                              • Catering to the next generation
                              • What’s Working?

                                • Home-based celebrations are a gift to gifting
                                  • Canadians include home-based meals as part of their holiday celebrations
                                    • Figure 14: Holiday traditions, March 2018
                                  • Canadians are hosting guests regularly
                                    • Consumer searches for home décor ideas have increased
                                      • The strong presence of discount/dollar stores are beneficial
                                        • Searches for food and drink ideas
                                          • Figure 15: Classic Oysters Rockefeller, November 2018
                                          • Figure 16: Jumbleberry Croissant Strata, November 2018
                                          • Figure 17: Gingerbread & Blueberry Butter Cookie Trifle, November 2018
                                        • Focusing in on togetherness: spotlight on Loblaws
                                          • Figure 18: #EatTogether 2017, December 2016
                                          • Figure 19: #EatTogether 2018, December 2017
                                          • Figure 20: #EatTogether 2019, December 2018
                                        • Amazon is top of mind for consumers of all ages…
                                          • …for general shopping needs
                                            • Figure 21: Proportion of total online shopping done on Amazon.ca, by household income, April 2018
                                          • …and gifting
                                            • Figure 22: Planned shopping at Amazon, by age, March 2018
                                            • Figure 23: Keep the surprise a surprise with Amazon Locker, August 2018
                                        • What Needs More Attention?

                                          • More needs to be done to engage men with gifting
                                            • Men aren’t gifting as much as women – to others or themselves
                                              • Figure 24: Repertoire analysis of number of occasions consumers typically give gifts for, men vs women, September 2019
                                            • Promoting experts to draw fathers as they shop outside of comfort zones when gift shopping
                                              • Figure 25: Likelihood to shop at retailers outside of normal routine and consult expert for gift ideas (% agree), fathers with under-18s at home vs overall, September 2019
                                            • Companies will gain by offering a helping hand, and make it seamless
                                              • Lots of benefits to be had for retailers in categories where men are less engaged
                                              • What’s Next?

                                                • Building bridges between gift givers and receivers
                                                  • Giving the receiver some room to give input: spotlight on GiftNow
                                                    • Figure 26: Instant, Thoughtful, Stress-Free Gifting, March 2018
                                                    • Figure 27: Uniqlo, September 2019
                                                    • Figure 28: Kenneth Cole, June 2019
                                                  • Sharing is caring – even wish lists: spotlight on Amazon
                                                    • Figure 29: Amazon email, May 2018
                                                  • More options available to younger consumers to come
                                                    • Spotlight on Amazon Teen
                                                      • Spotlight on Greenlight
                                                        • (Younger) Gen Z have more spending power than ever before
                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Surprise! More Canadians are gifting for birthdays than holidays
                                                            • Gift cards are as much of a staple as traditional gifts
                                                              • The potential of experiences remains relatively untapped
                                                                • Canadians are treating themselves – in good times and bad
                                                                  • Gifting isn’t all fun and games, wish lists can help address pain points
                                                                  • Gifting Occasions

                                                                    • Birthdays and milestones outpace holidays for gift giving
                                                                      • Figure 30: Occasions consumers typically give gifts for, September 2019
                                                                    • Birthdays are a more personal occasion – in their words
                                                                      • Help them keep track of key dates
                                                                        • Women are gifting more often
                                                                          • Figure 31: Repertoire analysis of number of occasions consumers typically give gifts for, women vs men, September 2019
                                                                        • Be proactive about helping them keep track of ideas for different occasions
                                                                          • Anniversaries are an important occasion for fathers
                                                                              • Figure 32: Typically give gifts for anniversary, fathers vs mothers and overall, September 2019
                                                                          • Type of Gifts Given

                                                                            • Gift cards are as much of a staple as traditional gifts
                                                                              • Figure 33: Types of gifts purchased, September 2019
                                                                            • The universal appeal of gift cards helps
                                                                              • Remind consumers to toast a range of occasions with alcoholic beverages
                                                                                • Figure 34: Jackson-Triggs Instagram post, March 2019
                                                                                • Figure 35: Wine-Infused Fruit Salad Recipe with Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc, June 2018
                                                                              • Parents with tweens/teens lean more on gift cards
                                                                                • Figure 36: Bought gift cards, by parental status, September 2019
                                                                              • Gains to be had by giving the tweens/teens some control ahead of time
                                                                                • Gen Z women are gifting food and health/beauty products
                                                                                  • Figure 37: Purchase food and health or beauty products, Gen Z women vs overall, September 2019
                                                                                • Focus on the social connection part of gifting
                                                                                  • Figure 38: Together, March 2019
                                                                              • Attitudes towards Gift Types: Traditional, Gift Cards and Experiences

                                                                                • Traditional gifts may be losing their edge to monetary gifts and experiences
                                                                                  • Figure 39: Gift giving preferences, September 2019
                                                                                • Personalization remains a key barrier to purchasing gift cards
                                                                                  • Figure 40: Attitudes towards monetary gifts, September 2019
                                                                                • Help them add a personal touch: spotlight on Tim Hortons
                                                                                  • Gift cards or monetary gifts allow the receiver to choose their own – in their words
                                                                                    • Highlight flexibility where possible
                                                                                      • Calling attention to monetary gifts as customary in other cultures may also help
                                                                                        • One more consideration: gift cards don’t have to be the entire gift
                                                                                          • A caveat: be clear about limitations
                                                                                            • The potential of gifting experiences has not been realized yet
                                                                                              • Remember, ‘experiences’ today encompass a broad range of categories
                                                                                                • Connecting traditional items to experiences: spotlight on Flowers for Dreams
                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Flowers for Dreams Instagram post, October 2019
                                                                                                • A consideration point: flexibility in redemption options if available
                                                                                                  • Another consideration point: expiry dates and refund policies
                                                                                                    • Efforts put towards promoting experiences will appeal to younger consumers
                                                                                                      • Figure 42: ‘I would rather give experiences than traditional gifts’ (% agree), by age, September 2019
                                                                                                    • Hello food-based celebrations! LGBT+ and younger consumers are keener on hosting or treating for meals
                                                                                                      • Figure 43: ‘I would rather host/treat recipients to a meal than give a traditional gift’ (% agree), LGBT+ vs overall, September 2019
                                                                                                    • Special consideration: give the rainbow roots
                                                                                                      • Promoting greater inclusivity: spotlight on Skyy Vodka
                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Trixie Mattel Presents Home of the Brave: Getting Ready, June 2019
                                                                                                      • Don’t underestimate the potential benefits of promoting self-gifting
                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Self-gifting tendencies and occasions (% agree), September 2019
                                                                                                      • Help them keep a running list to tap into impulse shopping
                                                                                                        • Figure 46: ‘I have a wish list of things I eventually want to treat myself to’ (% agree), women 18-34 vs overall, September 2019
                                                                                                      • Mood boosting qualities of self-gifting a draw for young women
                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Select self-gifting tendencies and occasions (% agree), women 18-34 vs overall, September 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Kenneth Cole, November 2018
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Smashbox, November 2018
                                                                                                      • Self-gifting is a good time to advance Gen Z women up tiered products
                                                                                                        • Figure 50: ‘When I treat myself I typically spend more than what I would on an everyday purchase’ (% agree), Women 18-24 vs overall, September 2019
                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Wish Lists and Registries

                                                                                                      • Wish lists can help address pain points of gift giving and receiving
                                                                                                        • Getting unwanted gifts results in additional effort for gift receivers
                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Attitudes towards gift receipts and unwanted gifts, September 2019
                                                                                                        • Wish lists are a bridge, but need to be seamless
                                                                                                          • Younger consumers wish for more wish lists
                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Desire for wish lists and preference to use gift registries when giving gifts (% agree), by age, September 2019
                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Openness to creating wish lists and perceived usefulness of gift registries (% agree), by age, September 2019
                                                                                                          • Special consideration: position wish lists as different from registries
                                                                                                            • Figure 54: ‘Creating a gift registry makes my friends and family feel obligated to give me a gift’ (% agree), by age, September 2019
                                                                                                          • Registries would benefit from a refresh
                                                                                                            • Figure 55: ‘Gift registries are useful as it ensures I receive what I want’ (% agree), by age, September 2019
                                                                                                          • Registering for experiences: spotlight on Bed Bath & Beyond
                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                    • Terms

                                                                                                                    Gifting - Canada - November 2019

                                                                                                                    £3,435.47 (Excl.Tax)