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UK Hobbies and Interests Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Hobbies and Interests market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report covers UK consumers’ hobbies and interests, which Mintel defines as an activity regularly done in one’s leisure time for pleasure.

What you need to know

Some 90% of online adults take part in hobbies and interests, with reading books/magazines, baking/cooking and home improvement proving most popular. Constraints of time and money are the biggest barriers to trying new hobbies and may also have an impact on information gathering and shopping habits, which tend to be very narrow across the board.

However, social media continues to grow in value as a promotional platform, while a strengthening public health focus on mental wellbeing could create new opportunities to highlight the benefits that taking part in hobbies and interests can offer in this regard.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by David Walmsley, a leading analyst in the Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Increasing awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of taking part in hobbies and interests is set to be the next big driver of market growth. David Walmsley
Senior Leisure Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Spare time squeeze puts pressure on participation
              • Figure 1: Mean total daily leisure time, by age and gender, 2015
            • Careful consumers keep value to the fore
              • Figure 2: Spending priorities for spare cash, October 2018
            • Wellbeing initiatives promote hobbies for health
              • Figure 3: Attitudes towards managing stress and wellbeing, February 2018
            • The consumer
              • A nation of hobbyists
                • Figure 4: Participation in hobbies and interests, November 2018
              • Hobbyists turn to each other’s expertise
                • Figure 5: Sources of information about hobbies and interests, November 2018
              • Specialist stores hold on to high-value niche
                • Figure 6: Hobby and interest shopping habits, November 2018
              • Catch them while they’re young
                • Figure 7: Experience of taking up a new hobby or interest, November 2018
              • Low interest rates beyond groups hobbies already bank on
                • Figure 8: Incentives to trying a new hobby, November 2018
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Hobbies to go pro on social media
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Healthy hobbies on wellbeing agenda
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • Spare time squeeze puts pressure on participation
                              • Careful consumers keep value to the fore
                                • Hobbies present the right image for social media
                                  • Wellbeing initiatives promote hobbies for health
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • Keeping the time-poor hobby-rich
                                        • Figure 9: Mean total daily leisure time, by age and gender, 2015
                                      • Saving over spending brings value to the fore
                                          • Figure 10: Spending priorities for spare cash, October 2018
                                        • Hobbies pin their hopes on social
                                          • Figure 11: Tendency to share or view social media content, by age, April 2018
                                        • Wellbeing focus widens to take in mental health
                                            • Figure 12: Attitudes towards managing stress and wellbeing, February 2018
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • A nation of hobbyists
                                            • Hobbyists turn to each other’s expertise
                                              • Specialist stores hold on to high-value niche
                                                • Catch them while they’re young
                                                  • Low interest rates beyond groups hobbies already bank on
                                                  • Most Popular Hobbies and Interests

                                                    • No shortage of hobby interest
                                                      • Figure 13: Participation in hobbies and interests, November 2018
                                                    • Women have wider interests
                                                      • Figure 14: Repertoires of hobbies and interests, November 2018
                                                    • Little and often adds up for books
                                                        • Figure 15: Hobbies and interests most time spent on, November 2018
                                                    • Information Sources

                                                      • Brands in the background as independence has its day
                                                        • Figure 16: Sources of information about hobbies and interests, November 2018
                                                      • A single source of truth for most
                                                        • Figure 17: Repertoires of hobby and interest information sources, November 2018
                                                      • Social media’s obsession with image crowds out the written word
                                                          • Figure 18: Use of social media as a source of information about hobbies and interests, November 2018
                                                      • Hobby Shopping

                                                        • Specialists better off with the better off
                                                            • Figure 19: Hobby and interest shopping habits, November 2018
                                                          • Narrow preferences a key target for expansion
                                                              • Figure 20: Single-channel hobby and interest shopping preferences, November 2018
                                                            • Expert advice recommends an upgrade
                                                                • Figure 21: Shopping with specialist hobby and interest retailers, by hobby or interest, November 2018
                                                            • Trying New Hobbies

                                                              • Experiments of youth
                                                                  • Figure 22: Experience of taking up a new hobby or interest, November 2018
                                                                • Taking up new hobbies is a majority interest
                                                                    • Figure 23: Interest in taking up a new hobby, November 2018
                                                                • New Hobby Incentives

                                                                  • The hobby-rich are time- and money-poor
                                                                      • Figure 24: Incentives to trying a new hobby, November 2018
                                                                    • A helping hand for newcomers
                                                                        • Figure 25: Incentives to trying a new hobby or interest, by interest in trying a new hobby or interest, November 2018
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviation and Supporting Information

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                          • Consumer research methodology