The UK Food and Drink Gifting Market Report 2022
 “Food and drink gifting occasions will remain resilient during the income squeeze in 2022-23, but there is a strong likelihood of trading down within categories. Recommendations of more affordable substitutes…

The UK Food and Drink Gifting Market Report 2022

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)


The UK Food and Drink Gifting market report identifies consumer attitudes towards purchasing food and drinks as gifts, the impact of inflation and future innovations in the Food and Drink Gifting market in the UK. This report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry trends for the Food and Drink Gifting market in the UK.


Current Market Landscape 

The food and drink market is increasingly populated with consumers who are interested in ‘build your own’ food and drink gift packages. These sorts of initiatives help improve the food and drink gifting industry market size as they offer a means to appeal to price-conscious consumers during the income squeeze and also help newcomer brands boost their profile and drive purchases.

The gifting market will continue to support demand in many segments of the food and drink market as it enables retailers to inject some excitement into the shopping experience and effectively encourage more visits. However, consumers’ increased price-consciousness will prompt them to trade down to cheaper own-brand options and will also generate competition from consumers creating homemade food and gifts.

Market Share and Key Industry Trends

Food and drink gifting occasions will remain steady during the income squeeze in 2022-23, with sales buoyed up by these products’ strong image as affordable. The food and drink gift market can also communicate their additional value, as in some cases, food and drink gift packaging can be reused. This reusable feature could elevate their value as gifts while continuously benefiting the brand as the gift packaging acts as a reminder of it even after the original product has been consumed.

  • 70% of UK adults are interested in ‘build your own’ food and/or drink gift packages.
  • 52% of adults in the UK have bought alcoholic drinks as a gift for someone in the past 12 months.
  • 52% of UK adults consider price as the most important factor when buying food and/or drink gifts.
  • 60% of UK buyers are not influenced by brands when shopping for food and/or drink gifts.


Future Market Trends in UK Food and Drink Gifting Market

Gifting will remain an important purchase driver in the food and drink market. Consumers’ improved finances in 2024 should boost value sales growth in various categories as shoppers have more scope for trading up.

However, the future of the gift industry will experience the consequences of an ageing population. The projected declines in the population of under-10s and 20-34s during 2021-2026 will impact and impede the gifting market size and erode future sales, as under-35s and parents are among key buyers of food and/or drink gifts.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Food and Drink Market Research.

Quickly Understand

  • The likely impact of the income squeeze in 2022-23 on consumers’ food and drink gift-buying habits.
  • Key factors influencing choice when buying food/drink as a gift.
  • Trends in food/drink gifting launches, and opportunities for further innovation.
  • Consumer perceptions of the different retail channels in relation to buying food/drink as gifts.
  • Food/drink gift buyers’ attitudes towards the environment.


Covered in this Report

Product Types:  White spirits, beer, cider, fortified wine, wine, sparkling wine, preserves, confectionery, biscuits, soft drinks, tea and coffee.

Brands:  M&S, The Botanist’s, Mondelēz (Cadbury’ Roses, Cadbury), Cath Kidston, Olivia Burton, Veuve Clicquot, Bombay Sapphire, Kodak, Spotify, Morrisons, Aldi, Saimsbury’s TJM, Diageo (Guinness, Johnnie Walker), Ableforth, Bottega, Lindt, McIlhenny, Nando’s, Lidl, Grey Goose, Mars (M&Ms, Galaxy, Malteasers, Twix), Asda, Fortnum & Mason, Cocoa Loco, Elephant Gin, Chococo, Hovis.


Expert Analysis from a Specialist in the Field

This report, written by Alice Baker, a leading senior analyst in the Food & Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Food and drink gifting occasions will remain resilient during the income squeeze in 2022-23, but there is a strong likelihood of trading down within categories. Recommendations of more affordable substitutes for favourite products should chime in this climate. ‘Build your own gift package’ initiatives can also help retailers to attract price-conscious shoppers.”

Alice Baker
Senior Food & Drink Research Analyst


Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Market context
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • The five-year outlook for food and drink gifting
      • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2022-27
    • The market
    • Income squeeze set to prompt trading down in food and drink gift buying
    • Demographic changes to impact purchasing
    • Companies and brands
    • Dual-purpose packaging and visual wow factor are among means to enhance the appeal of gifting products
    • Brands and retailers look to make gift packaging more sustainable
    • The consumer
    • Seven in 10 adults buy food and drink as gifts
      • Figure 2: Food and drink bought as a gift, by type, 2022
    • Chocolate, spirits and tea lead their respective categories on gift buying
      • Figure 3: Types of food and drink bought as a gift, by category, by type, 2022
    • Price is the leading factor influencing choice of food/drink gifts
      • Figure 4: Factors influencing choice when buying food/drink as a gift, 2022
    • Many gift buyers seek familiarity, personalisation can add value
      • Figure 5: Behaviours related to buying food/drink as a gift, 2022
    • Many are concerned about sustainability, but not all act on this
      • Figure 6: Attitudes towards food and drink gifting, 2022
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Draw on gift buyers’ desire for more guidance to drive sales during the income squeeze
    • Build-it-yourself gift packages hold multiple points of appeal
    • Play to the strengths of in-store and online retail channels
  4. Market Drivers

    • The conflict in Ukraine will hurt the UK economy
    • GDP reached pre-pandemic levels in November 2021…
    • …but the post-COVID-19 bounce-back will be followed by a period of slower growth
    • Employment has held up better than expected
    • Inflation is the key concern for 2022 for consumers, brands and the economy
    • Consumers’ financial wellbeing has slipped from its recent high point…
      • Figure 7: Household financial wellbeing index, 2016-22
    • …and concerns over inflation are coming to the fore
    • Gifting will remain important purchase driver for food and drink despite income squeeze…
    • …but gift buyers are likely to become more price-conscious
    • Income squeeze could increase the competition from homemade gifts
    • Demographic changes will impact purchasing
    • Ageing population will impede sales
      • Figure 8: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2016-26
    • Declining birth rates pose a challenge for the gifting market
      • Figure 9: Live births in England and Wales, 2016-21
  5. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Presentation tins can appeal both on aesthetics and practicality
    • Brands and retailers encourage further uses for gift tins
      • Figure 10: Examples of alcoholic/non-alcoholic drink gift launches in presentation tins promoted as having additional uses, 2021
    • Cadbury’s link-ups with designers should strengthen premium associations
      • Figure 11: Cadbury Roses tin designed by Cath Kidston, 2021
    • Alcohol brands add multimedia features to strengthen lifestyle positioning
    • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink launches leverage the wow factor
      • Figure 12: Examples of own-label Christmas liqueur launches with edible gold or silver leaf, 2021
    • Hot chocolate ‘bombs’ provide an element of theatre
      • Figure 13: Examples of hot chocolate ‘bombs’, 2021-22
    • Branded glasses can be used to promote visually appealing serves
      • Figure 14: Examples of alcoholic drinks gift launches with branded drinking vessels, 2021
    • Brands and retailers aim for new occasions
    • M&S looks to leverage the appeal of its sweet treat characters
      • Figure 15: M&S targets its caterpillar cakes towards adults with Mother’s Day launch, 2022
    • Chocolate brands target more ‘everyday’ occasions
      • Figure 16: Examples of small chocolate gifting formats aimed at more ‘everyday’ occasions, 2021
    • Gifting launches make a break from tradition
    • Brands and retailers promote less traditional items for gifting
      • Figure 17: Examples of gifting launches from less traditional categories, 2021
    • Retailers unleash a menagerie of animals for Easter
      • Figure 18: Examples of own-label non-traditional characters in Easter chocolate launches, 2021-22
      • Figure 19: M&S offers appeal to the science-minded with Space Eggsplorer Chocolate, 2022
    • Brands and retailers look to make gift packaging more sustainable
    • Brands and own-label reduce plastic use for Easter egg packaging
    • Spirits brands reduce packaging on gifting formats
    • Fortnum & Mason and smaller brands explore biodegradable Christmas and Easter chocolate packaging
      • Figure 20: Examples of Christmas and Easter chocolate gift launches with compostable packaging, 2021-22
    • Niche brands offer gift products with on-pack charity pledges
      • Figure 21: Examples of food/drink gift launches with on-pack charity pledges, 2022
  6. Food and Drink Items Bought as a Gift

    • Seven in 10 buy food and drink as gifts
      • Figure 22: Food and drink bought as a gift, by type, 2022
    • Under-35s are the most likely to buy food and drink as gifts
      • Figure 23: Food and drink bought as a gift, by type, by age, 2022
    • Income squeeze will affect alcoholic drinks more than other food/drink gifts
      • Figure 24: Food and drink bought as a gift, by type, by how consumers describe their financial situation, 2022
  7. Types of Food and Drink Bought as a Gift

    • Chocolate is the most popular food gift
      • Figure 25: Foods bought as a gift, 2022
    • Spirits are the most popular alcoholic drink for gifting
      • Figure 26: Alcoholic drinks bought as a gift, 2022
    • Tea is the most popular non-alcoholic drink to buy as a gift
      • Figure 27: Non-alcoholic drinks bought as a gift, 2022
  8. Factors Influencing Choice when Buying Food/Drink as a Gift

    • Price is the number one factor influencing choice
      • Figure 28: Factors influencing choice when buying food/drink as a gift, 2022
    • Premium ingredients and unique flavours can appeal to those not influenced by price
    • ‘Build it yourself’ options can help companies to appeal during the income squeeze
    • Brands should position themselves as a safe bet to appeal to price-sensitive buyers
    • Innovate with flavours to appeal to people not influenced by brand
    • ‘Build-your-own’ gift packages appeal especially to people who are not brand-led
  9. Behaviours Related to Food and Drink Gifting

    • Gift buyers are creatures of habit
      • Figure 29: Behaviours related to buying food/drink as a gift, 2022
    • Personalisation can help to make familiar brands feel more special
    • Flavoured variants can appeal as putting a special twist on a familiar product
    • Promote self-gifting to drive usage frequency
    • Four in 10 buyers would like more guidance on choosing gifts
    • Specialist shops must leverage their image as a good source of advice
    • Reassure shoppers of the high quality of lower-priced products to maintain sales during income squeeze
    • More detailed guidance on online retail sites should appeal
    • Put user reviews in shoppers’ path at point of sale to drive buying
      • Figure 30: Examples of POS display and on-shelf labelling highlighting Vivino ratings at Sainsbury’s, Didcot, Oxfordshire, 2021
    • Use in-store technology to provide additional guidance
  10. Attitudes towards Food and Drink Gifting

    • Retailers should make more of the in-store gifting experience
      • Figure 31: Attitudes towards food and drink gifting, 2022
    • Allow people to build their own gift package in-store to make visits more enjoyable
    • Online channels should harness gift buyers’ interest in research
    • Supermarkets need to up their game on the online shopping experience
    • Many gift buyers see sustainability as important, but not all act on this
    • Ethical considerations will lose priority for shoppers during income squeeze
      • Figure 32: Views that it is important to buy ethically sourced food and drink as gifts, by consumers’ description of their financial situation, 2022
    • Innovate with gift packaging that is both attractive and sustainable
      • Figure 33: International examples of sweet food gift launches with sustainable packaging claims, 2021
    • Portray sustainable aspects as improving products’ taste
      • Figure 34: Café Direct Organic Belgian Chocolate Gift Pack launch links sustainable attributes with a superior taste, 2020
    • Make the environmental benefits tangible to evoke the feelgood factor
  11. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
  12. Appendix – Who Food/Drink Gifts Are Bought For

      • Figure 35: Who food/drink is bought for as a gift, 2022

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