Christmas is back! Tesco Ireland Christmas trends research reveals a nation of traditionalists

Tesco Ireland has today published its annual ‘Christmas Trends Research’ as the festive season approaches. Featuring a selection of seasonal statistics, the research examines the habits and behaviours of Irish consumers during the Christmas period and highlights new trends and insights within the Irish marketplace.

Following another year of uncertainty, the Tesco consumer trends research for 2021 looks to hone-in-on Christmas traditions and rituals to understand what ignites the festive spirit across the nation. This year, travel is a key feature within the research as families look forward to reuniting with loved ones from near and far. Spending habits of the Irish consumer are also explored and the nation’s attitude towards unwanted gifts is revealed.

True to Tradition

When it comes to household traditions, the nation has spoken, and the top traditions of Irish households have been revealed.

  • Retro recipes are in as half of the respondents (50%) say they typically source their Christmas dinner recipes from a traditional family recipe passed down through generations. Millennials are confirmed as the main generation to dish out a delicacy from the past with (61%) of those aged 25-34 most likely to use a traditional family recipe passed down through generations
  • Just over 7 in 10 (71%) adults say that their favourite family Christmas tradition is Christmas dinner, closely followed by putting decorations on the tree (68%). The Late Late Toy Show has also been confirmed as a popular tradition with 33% of adults saying this is their favourite Christmas tradition.

Home for Christmas

They’ll be back home for Christmas, a festive season to remember as many households are reunited with loved ones as travel restrictions are lifted.

  • It seems this is a Christmas of reunions! Over 3 in 10 (31%) adults say they will have family members travelling to be with them this Christmas, with more than one in ten adults (14%) saying they will have family members travelling from abroad. A long time coming for nearly one quarter (24%) of respondents who say it has been more than a year since they last saw this person.
  • A festive feast is in store for most households this year with almost three quarters (74%) of adults expecting there to be between 3 and 8 people at the dinner table for Christmas dinner, with 12% saying they’ll be expanding the dining table as they will have nine or more.

Savvy Shopping with Spirit

Spending habits are set to soar this Christmas as the Irish consumer looks to make the best out of Christmas for 2021. But gifting habits will forever stay the same.

  • Spending is on the rise this year as one in five (20%) adults expect to spend more this Christmas compared to what they spent last year.
  • When it comes to spending on Christmas gifts this year, 23% of Irish consumers plan to spend between €101 - €200 with a similar proportion (21%) saying that they plan to spend €201 - €500
  • Good news for those who shop to surprise, 6 in 10 (60%) adults say that they love a surprise gift! However, honesty is the best policy with 27% of respondents who will be telling their loved ones straight up what they want for Christmas.
  • We’re a good-natured lot! Just over 7 in 10 (71%) adults don’t mind when someone gifts them something they don’t like or didn’t ask for. It’s the thought that counts, with 20% saying they would most likely donate it to charity.

A Very Sustainable Season

Eco-conscious shoppers are prioritising the planet this season as sustainability takes centre stage.

  • As the environmentally conscious shoppers prepare for the festive season, the planet is kept in mind amongst 6 in 10 (55%) adults who say that sustainability will be a factor in their decision process when purchasing gifts this Christmas.
  • When it comes to practising sustainability this Christmas just over half (51%) of adults will be cutting down food waste, a 3% increase from last year. Shopping local has also grown in popularity with over 4 in 10 (43%) planning to shop locally for gifts in comparison to last year (38%).
  • Amongst those who plan to cut down on food waste this year, just over 6 in 10 will do so by buying less food overall (62%) or by making better use of leftovers (61%), a statistic that has remained the same since 2020.

Community Spirit

The importance of community plays an integral role in Christmas activities across the nation this season as the Irish public volunteer for crucial services.

  • Almost half (49%) of adults say that they will be either volunteering for a local charity, taking part in community activities or making an online donation to a local good cause this Christmas.
  • Just over half (51%) of adults say that they donate to charities during the Christmas period, with more than one in ten (14%) claiming that they only donate to charity at Christmas time.
  • Amongst those who typically donate to charities at Christmas, over two thirds (69%) say they typically donate to children’s charities with just over 6 in 10 (62%) donating to homeless charities.

After last year, the whole country is determined to have the most joyous Christmas ever, and that naturally demands the very best food and drink that Tesco has to offer. With that in mind, the Tesco Online Christmas Shop is now open on where customers can peruse their favourite finest* products, look for tips and inspiration for Christmas dining at home with more great quality products to be added ahead of Christmas.

The Tesco grocery home shopping service has been a vital resource for many over the last eighteen months. This year, Tesco online customers can book their Christmas slot for home delivery or Click+Collect from 12th November (for Over 65s and delivery saver customers) or 19th November, to include the favourite turkey pre-order service. Tesco Click+Collect is a free service available at 53 stores across the country, while thousands of extra home delivery slots are now available through the expanded service nationwide. For more information and a list of stores visit



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