With wedding season just kicking off, many guests will be beginning the search for the ‘perfect gift’. Aiming to gain a slice of this lucrative market, in February 2017, the pizza chain Domino’s launched an online gift list service that allows guests to give vouchers for pizza as an alternative to more traditional gifts – such as homewares and money.

The service, which is currently only available in the US, offers a range of e-gift cards that tap into the various experiences surrounding getting married, such as ‘The Wedding Night’, ‘Thank You Card-a-thon’ and the ‘Post-Honeymoon Adjustment to Real Life’.

The company commented: “We often hear from customers that Domino’s was a part of their big day, from proposals to after-hours meals at their wedding. We wanted to make it easier for people to ask for and receive something that they’ll really use.”

Wedding gift lists prove big business

Gift-giving is a major part of modern weddings, with data for Mintel’s Attitudes towards Weddings UK 2016 Report showing that almost nine in 10 wedding guests gave a gift at the last wedding they attended.

The Report also underlined the popularity of wedding gift list services, with 18% of gift givers indicating that they chose their gift from a registered list. Gift registries have become more popular in recent years as marrying couples have sought to make it easier for guests to choose gifts that they need or want, as well as helping to reduce the chance of receiving the same gift twice.

Just 1% give food and drink-related gifts

Cash is the most common type of gift given at weddings, reflecting how (in the absence of a registered gift list) today’s wedding guests prefer to let the marrying couple to choose what they would like, be that to spend on their honeymoon or to put with other donations towards more expensive big ticket purchases.

When it comes to giving physical gifts, traditional homewares remain among the most popular offerings, while just 1% of guests who gave a gift at the last wedding they attended gave a food and drink-based gift. However, as foodie culture grows in the UK, there is now an opportunity for food and drink retailers to grow their own presence in the gift list market, particularly in the case of high-end retailers offering luxury gift hampers.

Gift lists pose opportunity for new experiences

Domino’s new gift registry service highlights the opportunity that exists for operators from a variety of different industries to move into the wedding gift list market. While restaurants, particularly larger chains, could launch their own registry services, there is also scope to partner with other outlet brands, allowing the couple to choose their preferred restaurant.

The wider leisure market can also jump on board and offer unique experiences for the newlywed couple to enjoy across their first year together. This could see beauty and spa brands offer couples massages, positioned as a de-stressing experience after planning the wedding. Theme parks can also offer both one-off tickets and even annual memberships for couples to visit as many times as they like. This angle could also work for cinema chains offering annual memberships, as well as in-home subscription entertainment providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Besides gifts, companies are finding other ways to tap into the wedding industry. Starting in the summer of 2017, Taco Bell will launch a special Wedding Package in the US, including a Taco Bell garter and bow tie, a sauce packet bouquet, “Just Married” T-shirts and Taco Bell Champagne flutes, along with a taco 12-pack and a Cinnabon Delights Wedding Cake. The package, including the full ceremony and officiant, will cost $600.

Jack Duckett, Senior Lifestyle Analyst at Mintel, joined the company as a Research Executive in August 2012. He specialises in working on reports for the household and food & drink sectors. Jack also has a keen interest in social media and cultural trends.

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