Research details CNY food and travel buying sprees

Mintel's research shows that spending on Chinese New Year does not veer far from fun and travel, but also reveals some interesting trends.

Research details CNY food and travel buying sprees

Chinese New Year is a season for gifting as well as self indulgence, as almost an equal number of respondents surveyed by Mintel indicated that they have bought something for themselves as well as for others during the festive period.

According to the company's Festival China Shopping report, food items are the biggest spending focus during traditional festivals such as the Chinese New Year, as 67% of urban Chinese said they buy festive foods, while another 61% said they spend more on eating out during festivals. The survey was carried out with 3,000 internet users aged from 20 to 49 in tier-1 to tier-3 cities in October last year.

However, Alibaba’s research also shows that Chinese consumers are opting for healthier options and urban taste during the spring festival. Silver Sun, general manager of planning at Alimama, the data arm of Alibaba, told Campaign Asia-Pacific during the DMA China forum last December that pure water is the fastest growing beverage during the holidays, while Chinese consumers also begin to indulge in wine and chocolate at the same time.

“A major emphasis of traditional festival shopping is food and fun,” said Matthew Crabbe, regional trends director at Mintel. “All retailers need to achieve this is solid knowledge about the lifestyles and ‘retailtainment’ (mixture of retail and entertainment) interests of their customers, and the imagination to come up with interesting new ideas,” said Matthew Crabbe, regional trends director at Mintel. 

Another emerging trend highlighted by both Mintel and Alibaba is the strong pockets of growth in travel spending during the Chinese New Year. Mintel’s results shows that 35% of urban consumers plan to spend more on domestic travel (41% about the same) and 27% plan to spend more on overseas travel (38% about the same). Holiday expenditure around Chinese and Western festivals is forecast to increase by 16% CAGR between 2015 and 2020.

“Travel spending is also internationalising China’s festival shopping influence. In fact, the consumer economy, and festival retail, is not just about buying products, it is also about leisure, entertainment, services and travel,” said Matthew Crabbe, regional trends director at Mintel.

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