Local shopping and family time will prosper this Christmas, says new research from Beano Brain

High street shops could be in for a festive season despite the looming threat of further lockdown restrictions at the hands of coronavirus across the UK, after all, as new research from Beano Brain, the insights agency from Beano Studios, cites local shopping as a key trend for this Christmas.

In its latest research, Beano Brain has found that half (51 per cent) of UK families with children aged seven to 11, have already started planning their Christmas celebrations, while two thirds of kids admitted to being just as, or even more, excited about the big day this year, despite the growing threat of coronavirus in the UK.

Beano Brain has been tracking the daily behaviours and sentiments of Gen Alpha, Gen Z their parents since mid-March to identify and assess the impact of the unprecedented global events of 2020.

The study so far has included direct to kids quantitative research with more than 3 million UK aged seven to 14 through the Beano Brain Omnibus and over 150 hours of qualitative interviews and tasks with its longitudinal Trendspotter kids, teens and parents panels.

The Beano Studios division goes on to detail that almost a third (30 per cent) of UK kids had already started writing their Christmas lists by the third week in September, and one in four (23 per cent) expect to have a much bigger say in deciding how family celebrations will go this year.

This increase in influence is likely down to the increased time families are spending together, Beano Brain has suggested. It’s recorded that now days half of families (51 per cent) with children aged seven to 11 eat their evening meal together with nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) doing it more since lockdown.

As a result, Family Time has emerged as  a key trend for 2020. Following the huge surge in family quizzes in the Spring, Christmas 2020 promises another influx along with a second surge in family baking, cooking and boardgames, said Beano Brain’s research.

‘Many families are also suffering with boardgame fatigue following the first lockdown and are looking for new alternatives for the festive period, so brands offering new and original game ideas will cut through this season.’

Local shopping has also come out on top, driven, suggests the research unit, by the absence of large Christmas events such as markets, pantomimes and Winter Wonderland. Families will be staying local this year and seeing what their hometown has to offer. They will also be investing in decorating their homes, particularly on the outside, to show that Christmas isn’t cancelled, it stated.

“So it’s time for brands to target families on a hyper-local level to ensure they’re part of the festivities and think of original ideas to bring the Christmas spirit to UK communities,” said the firm.

Finally, this will be a year for new traditions, according to Beano, who states that following on from the spike in drive-in cinemas this year, families will be looking for socially distanced, Christmas-equivalent experiences.

With pantomimes and festive theatre trips cancelled, families will be turning to streaming services such as Disney+ and Netflix for their Christmas magic. When it comes to gifting, sales of matching Christmas costumes and jumpers snowballed among families in recent years so given the prospect of an at home, informal Christmas, matching presents including Christmas onesies will be massive this year.

Pete Maginn, director of insight at Beano Brain, said: “Family festive planning has definitely moved earlier this year. Although there’s still so much uncertainty on how families will be able to celebrate we’re already seeing levels of planning in September that didn’t happen until November last year.

“With so many celebrations having to be cancelled this year, festive celebrations are going to be more important to families than ever before and there’s a huge opportunity for brands and organisations to help them keep the magic alive.”

With family life changing at a rapid rate Beano Brain aims to quickly spot trends to help brands understand and better engage with families right now, as well as prepare for the future.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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