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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Entertaining at Home: Incl Impact of COVID-19 – US market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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In the US, more than 177 million adults hosted parties or gatherings in their homes in 2019. However, social gatherings have all but disappeared since COVID-19 became a risk. As restrictions relax and consumers grow weary of staying apart from loved ones, hosts will look for ways to get their closest friends and family together safely. As the pandemic recedes and the economy recovers, entertaining at home will be a safer and more affordable alternative to eating and drinking with friends at bars, restaurants or other indoor establishments.

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Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

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

Humans are social animals, driven by a need to connect with others. Ideally, these interactions would occur in person, but the current pandemic is disrupting social gatherings of all sorts. At the same time, it is making consumers more aware of the importance of their personal relationships. Brands and businesses have opportunities to offer hosts solutions for navigating the new norms of socially distanced entertaining and help them gather with their loved ones safely. Kristen Boesel
Senior Lifestyles and Leisure Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definitions
          • COVID-19: market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways: what consumers want
                • Target audience overview
                  • Impact of COVID-19 on home entertaining
                    • Figure 1: Short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19 on party hosting, August 2020
                  • Opportunities and challenges
                    • Consumer challenge: consumers miss seeing their loved ones
                      • Figure 2: Higher priorities for consumers since COVID-19 outbreak, August 2020
                    • Brand opportunity: help facilitate alternative methods of connecting
                      • Consumer challenge: hosts and guests may not be on the same page
                        • Figure 3: Cautiousness about inviting others to own home and visiting someone else’s home, April 2020
                      • Brand opportunity: teach hosts how to entertain safely
                        • Consumer challenge: enduring this year’s holiday season
                          • Figure 4: Types of parties/gatherings hosted or attended in 2019, April 2020
                        • Brand opportunity: help friends and family unite with food
                          • What it means
                          • Target Audience: Party Hosts – Key Takeaways

                            • Recognize that hosts are a varied group of consumers
                              • Expect fewer and smaller parties in 2020
                                • Plan for home entertaining to enjoy a boost during the recovery period
                                • Party Hosts by the Numbers

                                  • Weathering a pandemic means fewer parties this year
                                    • Figure 5: Share of adults who hosted or attended a party or gathering in 2019, April 2020
                                  • Hosts represent a broad section of the population
                                      • Figure 6: Demographic summary of party hosts, April 2020
                                    • Married women offer a proxy for hosts in general
                                      • Figure 7: Gender of hosts and non-hosts, by current marital status, April 2020
                                    • Homeownership is linked to hosting
                                      • Figure 8: Primary residence of hosts and non-hosts, April 2020
                                  • Impact of COVID-19 on Party Hosting

                                      • Figure 9: Short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19 on party hosting, August 2020
                                    • Consumers miss gathering with others during lockdown
                                      • Lockdown: COVID-19 pandemic curbs social gatherings
                                        • Figure 10: Share of adults worried about exposure to the coronavirus, March-August 2020
                                        • Figure 11: Cautiousness about inviting others to own home and visiting someone else’s home, April 2020
                                      • Re-emergence: varying levels of caution
                                          • Figure 12: Demographic differences between more cautious and less cautious hosts, April 2020
                                        • Recovery: people will look for safe ways to socialize
                                            • Figure 13: Level of comfort with drinking and dining indoors and outdoors, August 2020
                                            • Figure 14: Motivations for hosting a party/gathering, among more cautious and less cautious hosts, April 2020
                                        • Learnings from the Last Recession

                                          • Increase in at-home food spending bodes well for at-home entertaining
                                            • Figure 15: Personal food consumption expenditures, 2006-20
                                          • Entertaining at home an affordable option amidst unemployment
                                            • Figure 16: Unemployment and underemployment, January 2007-June 2020
                                        • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                          • Pandemic circumstances disrupt favorite experiences
                                            • Balancing mental and physical wellbeing
                                              • Technology makes social distancing less painful
                                              • Mintel’s Global Trend Drivers

                                                  • Desire for shared experiences drives need for parties and gatherings
                                                    • Weighing physical risks against emotional Wellbeing
                                                      • Figure 17: Higher priorities for consumers since COVID-19 outbreak, August 2020
                                                    • Technology offers next best thing
                                                    • Competitive Strategies

                                                      • Enabling Experiences
                                                        • Chicago’s Luft Balloon keeps Playfulness pillar alive
                                                          • Figure 18: Luft Balloons Instagram post, June 2020
                                                        • Dos Equis helps consumers salvage summer
                                                          • Figure 19: Promotional image for the Dos Equis Seis-Foot Cooler, June 2020
                                                        • Helping hosts maintain the Wellbeing of guests
                                                          • Uncharted etiquette and opportunities for new products
                                                            • One room, in particular, offers great possibilities
                                                              • Technology
                                                                • Shared food and drink experiences can still happen with Cozymeal
                                                                  • Streaming platforms save movie nights
                                                                  • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                    • Home settings preferred over public places, especially now
                                                                      • For the holidays you can’t beat home, sweet home
                                                                        • Ultimately, parties and gatherings are about human connections
                                                                          • New approaches to serving can inspire product innovation
                                                                            • Reevaluation of relationships could inspire more entertaining post-COVID
                                                                              • Products that enable outdoor entertaining could inspire novice hosts
                                                                              • Gathering Locations

                                                                                • Parties at home are far more common than public celebrations
                                                                                  • Figure 20: Locations of parties/gatherings hosted or attended in 2019, April 2020
                                                                                • In their own words: consumers will be cautious about public parties
                                                                                  • In their own words: home gatherings are preferred, but not right away
                                                                                  • Entertaining Occasions

                                                                                    • Thanksgiving and winter holidays generate the most festivities
                                                                                      • Figure 21: Types of parties/gatherings hosted or attended in 2019, April 2020
                                                                                    • Homeownership linked to fall and winter holiday hosting
                                                                                      • Milestone and task-focused gatherings driven by younger hosts
                                                                                        • Figure 22: Average age of hosts, by party occasion, April 2020
                                                                                    • Hosting Motivations

                                                                                      • Entertaining is an excuse to see loved ones
                                                                                        • Hosts use food to show love for others
                                                                                          • Parties at home provide an economical option
                                                                                            • Figure 23: Motivations for hosting a party/gathering, among hosts, April 2020
                                                                                        • Eating and Drinking at Social Gatherings

                                                                                          • Parties give hosts a chance to get cooking
                                                                                            • Opportunities for cocktails and crafting
                                                                                              • Figure 24: Items hosts typically make themselves, April 2020
                                                                                            • Demand for disposable party goods will increase
                                                                                              • Green brands can grow in the home entertaining space
                                                                                                • Snack packaging needs to innovate
                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Items purchased for a hosted party/gathering, April 2020
                                                                                                • Guests may need guidance to know what to bring
                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Items brought to a party/gathering, April 2020
                                                                                                • Brand spotlight: ProFlowers
                                                                                                  • Figure 27: FTD Companies, Inc. Creative, Facebook link post, April 2020
                                                                                              • Attitudes toward Entertaining at Home

                                                                                                • Hosts don’t always need a reason to invite people over
                                                                                                  • For once, people are not too busy to gather in person
                                                                                                    • Homemade food isn’t a “must” for all hosts
                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Attitudes toward entertaining at home, April 2020
                                                                                                  • Barriers to Hosting

                                                                                                    • Outdoor gatherings could create opportunities for novice hosts
                                                                                                      • New hosts need tools that make entertaining easier
                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Barriers to hosting a party/gathering, April 2020
                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                          • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Race and Hispanic origin of more cautious and less cautious hosts, April 2020
                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Age distribution of more cautious and less cautious hosts, April 2020
                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Gender and parental status of more cautious and less cautious hosts, April 2020
                                                                                                                • Key driver analysis methodology
                                                                                                                  • Step I. Demographic indicators
                                                                                                                    • Step II. Behavioral and attitudinal indicators
                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Key drivers of attitudes toward entertaining, April 2020
                                                                                                                      • Interpretation of results
                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Key drivers of attitudes toward entertaining, April 2020

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