Colourful Christmas presents in a shopping cart

Holiday Season Takeaways

February 16, 2024
4 min read

Record-breaking Success for Premium Private Label Ranges

In line with the growing number of those in difficult financial situations, we found that 97% of shoppers can be described as discounters. This holiday season, Aldi and Lidl both experienced record-breaking sales. Lidl reported a 12% increase in sales year on year and an 11% increase in the three months leading up to Christmas. The key driver behind this success has been identified as their luxury product line, Deluxe, which has done brilliantly in combining value with quality.

The range includes premium treats like stuffed Halkidiki olives, hand-crimped Melton Mowbray pork pies and an award-winning chicken that earned Lidl the new own-label award in 2022. We found in our Food and Non-Food Discounters report that quality is essential for retaining customers, just over 40% of those with an income of over £50,000 believe that shopping at discount supermarkets would mean trading in on quality. However, ranges like Lidl Deluxe have proven effective in bridging this perceived quality gap. Next holiday season, we’re sure to see more premium private-label food ranges coming from discount supermarkets. 

A Triumph of Luxury Sustainable Fashion

During the Christmas season, Stella McCartney unveiled the pop-up space Stellabration within Selfridges, which focused on festive pieces made from sustainable materials, perfect for parties across the holidays. The collection includes vegan pumps and accessories, and gowns made from responsible materials like forest-friendly viscose and organic silk. Our Consumer Attitudes Towards Luxury UK report found that generally, shoppers do not associate luxury with sustainability but, concurrently, most confirmed that circular initiatives would genuinely appeal to them. This signals a clear call for luxury brands to broaden their sustainability initiatives and reevaluate any detrimental manufacturing processes. As exemplified by Stella McCartney’s Christmas Stellabration, there’s a growing demand for premium offerings that align with conscientious and environmentally friendly practices.

Nostalgia Marketing Works

We reported on a trend of playfulness and fun during Christmas in our Prospects for Christmas 2023 UK report, a predictable response to the economic challenges of the preceding two years. John Lewis’ popular Christmas advert cleverly tapped into both the nostalgia of Christmas and the beauty of creating new traditions. This approach aimed not only to enhance the festive experience but also a deeper sense of togetherness.

There has been a noticeable sentiment among the public that prioritises sticking together and appreciating loved ones, something heart-warming that has prevailed since the pandemic. Nostalgic marketing campaigns that authentically capture the true meaning of Christmas, throwing out conventional business-as-usual tactics, have proven more successful over the years. John Lewis’s approach serves as a testament to the effectiveness of campaigns that resonate with the genuine spirit of the season, emphasising the enduring values of togetherness and shared experiences.

Brands are Switching their Priorities

A handful of brands decided to forego spending millions on a Christmas marketing campaign opting instead to prioritise their customers during a period known for financial constraints. For example, Iceland reported that they were offering a turkey and three sides, enough for 8-10 people, for just £30 and a Christmas Bonus Cars Saving scheme instead of releasing an advert this year. Iceland has been particularly proactive when it comes to prioritising value as they have already locked their value-frozen range at £1 or less. This deliberate strategy emphasises their dedication to their customers, demonstrating a corporate ethos of goodwill that extends beyond marketing gestures.

Looking Ahead with Mintel

Next holiday season, we hope to see more initiatives that centre around people and the planet. Not only do many retailers’ sales goals rely on holiday performance, but shopping experiences occurring during the holidays can influence where consumers decide to shop in the future. A positive and memorable brand experience at Christmas can prompt consumers to carry on making purchases after the holiday season. However, the same is true for a negative experience. If loyal shoppers perceive a lack of value and care for themselves and the environment they may reconsider where they shop and what they buy in the future.

Align with the latest trends in consumer behaviour and explore our extensive Seasonal Holidays Market Research today.

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