Horizons newsletter – Week 51 // 2017
Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, please contact Investor Relations.
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Send a card
Despite the plethora of high tech methods available to deliver holiday wishes, people still like to receive paper Christmas cards. In 2016 the U.K. public spent more on greeting cards than ever before – taking the market value up to a value of £1.75 billion. Oxfam research found that 83% of the British believe more thought and feeling goes into the written word than a quick-fire text message or post. Even though the volume of letters may be in decline in most countries, people still like sending Christmas cards: Americans for instance bought 1.6 billion Christmas cards last year, in the U.K. it was 1 billion. According to the Greeting Card Association 90% of U.S. families still send cards, and the tradition seems to be sticking with millennials, though this group is more likely to buy their cards online. It shows that in an increasingly digitized world, Christmas is the time of the year to take a step back from your phone and connect with people in a way that goes beyond likes and status updates.
Meaningful, merry Christmas
The holiday season is often associated with traditions: we spend time with family, eat a lot – in the UK, people consume over 5,200 calories on Christmas dinner alone – and increasingly from different cultures. In 2016, Nielsen found that 32% of consumers plan to add a main dish from another culture during Thanksgiving. Especially around this time of year, people also tend to consume more responsibly. Consumers’ demand for more transparency in the foods they consume has been rising, leading for instance to companies making the turkeys they sold traceable via the blockchain technology. In addition, consumers spend more on healthful and clean ingredients. Moreover, after the season of indulgence, most people are planning to eat healthier in the New Year. The holiday season is not only a time of traditions, it amplifies the rising trend of meaningful consumption and the moralization of consumption: we increasingly value the broader meaning and purpose of goods and services and are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly and socially minded brands.
December is typically associated with gift giving, making it synonymous with shopping season. This year, though, the season started as early as October – instead of Black Friday in November – and is characterized by a shift from offline to online. According to Deloitte online channels will capture 51% of Americans’ 2017 holiday budgets. E-retailers are in part driving this shift by starting new commercial holiday traditions. Cyber Monday – heavily promoted by Amazon on the Monday following Black Friday – has become a fixed online retail feature. Alibaba, meanwhile, is closely associated with Singles Day (November 11), which is China’s anti-Valentine’s day and the largest global shopping event. The 2017 spend of $25 billion makes it four times bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. These local shopping holidays are now marketed and promoted around the globe, showing that nowadays retailers can create their own global commercial holidays. But not all is related to shopping. To keep the spirit of Christmas alive Giving Tuesday was initiated. Celebrated on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday, it promotes charities to get online donations.