It probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise that people like to eat chocolate. Or that people enjoy food. And everyone likes to receive gifts. Put that all together and it also isn’t surprising that food gifts are increasingly popular across all occasions and food gift types.
And that is good news for retailers who sell specialty food products and gift baskets. U.S. consumer and corporate food gifting sales will approach $18 billion this year, up 3.5 percent from 2015, mostly through consumer sales according to a new study from market research publisher, Packaged Facts.
And people are spending more on food gifts while also sending food gifts more often, according to the study Food Gifting in the U.S.
Boxed chocolates are not just for Valentine’s Day anymore. Food gifts are given on major holidays such as Christmas or Easter, as well as special occasions such as graduations and birthdays. What is new is that consumers and corporate customers are also sending food gifts “just because,” the study found.
Packaged Facts’ data suggests that the average spend per food gift and the number of intended food gifting recipients is also heading up, buoyed in part by corporate sales which are expected to rise 4 percent for the year and is an important piece of the food-gift pie.
Corporate food gifting benefits from an uptick in employment figures. Gift baskets are becoming popular tokens for those in the business world, according to the study which found that food gift baskets are increasingly targeted to special “Hallmark holidays” like Administrative Professionals Day.
By a wide margin, boxed chocolate/candies are the most popular food gift choice; other popular food gifts were sweet baked goods, coffee/tea/hot chocolate and salty snack foods like nuts.
The study found that the winter holidays remain the food gifting mainstay, with people buying food gifts for not only for others but for themselves (32 percent did). Sometimes holiday shoppers need a treat too.