Over half of Romanians’ holiday budget to go on food supplies, study shows

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Romanians say that over half of their holiday budget consists in food supplies (51%), according to a study by Reveal Marketing Research on Romanians’ consumption behavior during the 2020 holiday season.

More than a third of respondents (31%) say that this year they prefer to order gifts online, compared to only 5% in 2016.

Modern families are the biggest spenders on Christmas – 1284 lei, compared to the average total budget of 1059 lei of Romanians.

Based on the respondents’ answers, the average holiday budget of Romanians in 2020 would look like this:

  • Total: 1,059 lei
  • Food: 539 lei
  • Gifts: 395 lei
  • Decorations: 125 lei

Segments of population

The biggest spenders: modern families – 1284 lei and young professionals – 1,116 lei

The most economical segments: retired seniors – 765 lei and single millennials – 987 lei

The race for Christmas gifts in 2020: Where do Romanians buy from? Physical stores or online orders?

69% of respondents admit that they are still going to physical stores to buy Christmas gifts. (mall, supermarket, hypermarket, market). However, there is a decrease in the number of Romanians who shop in physical stores, compared to 2016 when they chose this method in proportion of 88%. In 2020, among those who prefer to go to stores, young professionals are those who have opted the most for this option – 81%. The phenomenon can be explained by the fact that, in general, young people have a lower risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19. Therefore, they may be less worried about being surrounded by others inside the stores.

When it comes to buying gifts for loved ones, retired seniors are divided in half. 50% of them declare they prefer to buy from physical stores, and the other half says that this year they place online orders. This percentage is encouraging and we notice the openness of seniors towards digitalization, along with a greater use of electronic devices. Their openness to the online environment may also be due to being part of a risk category, therefore they have to find safer alternatives for their health.

Compared to a similar study conducted 4 years ago, current data shows a significant increase in those who use the Internet to buy gifts. If in 2016, only 5% of Romanians said they shop online and only 7% – bought both physically and online, in 2020, 31% of respondents mention ordering presents on various websites. In 2019, the same study shows that 40% of the total sample orders gifts online. Compared to last year, there is a slight decrease in the percentage, but the trend remains constant, and Romanians are leaning more and more towards the online version.

Christmas gifts budget

Out of the average total of 1059 lei allocated by a Romanian for holiday shopping, 395 lei are intended for gifts, according to respondents. Compared to last year, when the average budget for gifts was 403 lei, the decrease is not significant. The biggest spenders in this regard are modern families with 562 lei allocated, with a percentage of 44%, followed by young professionals who spend 423 lei on average for Christmas gifts. We notice that those with middle and higher incomes tend to allocate a larger budget to make their loved ones happy. Retired seniors and single millennials are the segments that allocate only 282 lei, respectively 272 lei for gifts, a fact also determined by lower incomes.

Interestingly, men spend more on gifts than women. In the case of men, the expenses for gifts occupy a budget of 433 lei, compared to women who allocate 364 lei.

Food is the most expensive category of Romanians’ budget

Romanians declare that over half of their holiday budget consists in food supplies (51%), respondents stating that they allocate 539 lei for food. Traditional families followed by single adults spend the most here, allocating 588 lei, respectively 586 lei. Traditional families therefore spend significantly more than the rest of the sample for food shopping – 56%.

Decorations – at the bottom of Romanians’ priorities

Only 12% of the holiday budget is destined for decorations. In 2019, this category occupies 137 lei out of Romanians’ total budget, and currently, the respondents are willing to allocate less: 125 lei. The reduced expenses on decorations may be due to the fact that many people already have ornaments at home from previous years and prefer to reuse the old ones.

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