The final session of Connect FALL 2022 featured an overview of the IHA Occasions Report 2023, offering key findings, conclusions and changes from the 2022 survey. Presenters Leana Salamah, vice president, Marketing at IHA, and Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomePage News, also previewed results from an IHA consumer survey on at-home entertaining to be released later this year
HomePage News will publish the 2023 IHA Occasions Report in early November. The report showcases analysis and insights into consumer gift preferences and shopping behaviors based on each of eight key special occasions that offer gift-giving opportunities: engagements, bridal showers, weddings, new home ownership, new pet ownership, baby showers, off-to-college and retirement. The occasions survey was conducted Sept. 7-9, 2022, among a sample of 2,211 adults.
Giannetti noted that to some degree adults indicated were unlikely to purchase home and housewares gifts for most of the special occasions. He cautioned, however, not to read into that finding, but to look at all the results which show a large portion of people across all generations are ready to buy gifts or self-gift for special occasions.
Among the key findings from the 2023 survey:
- Adults hold mixed views on how often celebratory occasions will happen in the next year for themselves or their loved ones. Adults were most likely to say new pet ownership or housewarming/new home would happen for themselves or loved ones over the next 12 months. The percentage of adults who say it is likely they or their loved ones will experience housewarming/new home over the next 12 months decreased by 5% since 2021. Nearly half of 18-34-year-olds (45%) say it is likely their friends and family will have new pet ownership over the next 12 months
- While a majority of adults say they are unlikely to purchase a home and housewares gift for the tested occasions in the next year, they are most likely to purchase a gift for a wedding (27%) or new home (30%). Adults are least likely to buy home and housewares gifts for all occasions between January and March, and most likely to make such purchases between July and September.
- Adults are relatively open-minded when it comes to deciding which type of gift to buy for each occasion. Whether they are more likely to buy a gift card or specific gift varies by the type of occasion. Leaving for college and retirement are the top two occasions for which adults are likely to buy gift cards.
Giannetti and Salamah reviewed some of the purchasing behaviors for the tested occasions. Giannetti said that while some numbers have declined over the year, they are still higher than pre-pandemic purchasing for the occasions.
At least one-quarter of adults say it is likely their family and friends will have a wedding (24%), a baby shower (25%), new pet ownership (33%) or housewarming/new home (27%) in the next 12 months.
“Last year we saw an absolute explosion in new pet ownership and in housewarmings and new homes,” Salamah said. “While we’ve seen a decrease in new homes, new pet ownership continues to be strong.” She added that pet association officials are seeing the same trend and even pets who are returned to shelters are being snapped up. This resurgence in new pet ownership offers housewares opportunities in categories such as cleaning and home environment.
Younger adults are more likely than older age groups to experience housewarming/new home or new pet ownership over the next 12 months. Adults aged 18-34 are driving many of the behaviors across all of the tested occasions, Salamah said.
“These are significantly higher percentages,” Giannetti said. “While we’ve zeroed in on pet ownership, you can’t discount the percentages on housewarmings, weddings, baby showers.” He added that 18 to 34-year-olds figured prominently in other Connect FALL sessions that discussed trends and age groups.
Entertaining at Home
While compiling the Occasions Report, Giannetti said they realized that the 2022 holiday season will be very important in returning to at-home entertaining. As the U.S. moves past the pandemic from an emotional standpoint, people are really eager to get back into the home entertaining mood, he said.
IHA worked with Morning Consult to ask specific questions about home entertaining for both casual and traditional holiday events.
Key findings in this report include:
- Adults anticipate hosting more casual gatherings in 2023. Compared to the last 12 months, adults are expecting to host more rather than less casual gatherings, while 47% expect to host the same amount. They are most likely to host these gatherings from October to December 2023.
- Adults prefer to self-prepare food and personally provide the main course for casual gatherings. They are more likely to self-prepare their food (64%) than have it catered (10%) for casual gatherings at their home and are most likely to personally provide the main course (71%) and have their guests provide desserts (12%), salads (11%), alcohol (10%) or side dishes (10%).
- Adults are split between mostly using everyday sets (36%) or disposables (32%) for casual gatherings.
- In an aided and unaided environment, clean-up and timing of prep (specifically a desire for most prep to be ready concurrently) are referenced as the most challenging parts, respectively, of hosting casual gatherings.
Both reports will be published on HomePageNews.com later this year.