, UK
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Here's how much consumers are willing to pay for Christmas meals

Gen Zs are the biggest spenders.

Gen Zs are more willing to splurge on Christmas meals, with those ages 18 to 25 willing to spend up between £31 to £40 per meal excluding drinks, beyond most UK consumers’ budget of £21 to £30, according to a recent consumer survey by guest experience expert HGEM.

Older people at 66 age and up meanwhile want more budget-friendly meals of below £20.

The survey also revealed that consumers' top factor for choosing a Christmas venue is total cost. In contrast, last year, value for money was more important than meal quality, hinting at a return to basics for consumers desiring a decent meal without breaking the bank. The less important factors have not changed position since last year, and they are location, entertainment value and, finally, a new and exciting place.

In terms of how consumers find their Christmas venue – 68% of consumers would trust a recommendation, 64% would look to Google and 62% would consider a venue that’s tried and tested. 

“Given how heavily ‘recommended’ and ‘tried and tested’ venues come into play for customers choosing Christmas venues - a good Net Promoter Score should be a primary focus for operators. The results suggest an increase in office-sponsored Christmas parties for 2023 at 47% up from 44% in 2022, which improves affordability for the customer,” Steven Pike, Managing Director at HGEM said.

In terms of dietary requirements, almost half (46%) of the consumers reported some kind of dietary restrictions, with the majority of those with restrictions being vegetarians (44%), followed by those on a gluten-free diet (19%) and vegans (19%). Whilst it may be practical to have the same menu offering for vegetarians and vegans, providing a dairy option (e.g. cheese) to dairy alternatives (e.g. vegan cheese) would likely increase customer satisfaction for vegetarians.

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