As the kids go back to school and the first Christmas merchandise displays start appearing any day now, we bring you our first run-down of the year on Christmas products. Christmas is racing towards us like a lorry on the wrong side of the road, and yes, it looks like yet another job for mum along with cooking, shopping, housework and bringing up children.

Although the household chores in general are shared more evenly than they used to be, recent research from Mintel reveals that Britain’s mums are still more than twice as likely as dads to buy gifts for the kids.

To add to the challenge, consumers are becoming tired of getting the same old boring Christmas presents and need inspiration for a fun, thoughtful and delicious gift. Each year the UK’s leading Oriental grocer, Wing Yip, sees more and more shoppers looking for a culinary gift that will delight their loved ones – and perhaps get them invited to an Oriental festive feast!

Christmas isn’t just about presents, it’s about entertaining in the run-up to Christmas and then in between Christmas and New Year. As Wing Yip points out in the article on this page, hosts also seek to add a touch of the exotic to their Christmas parties and often look east for inspiration. Shoppers who are tired of finger food staples like sausage rolls and pineapple and cheese over the Christmas party season are increasingly turning towards Asian fare for their festive entertaining.

Back to those Mintel figures again about how it’s mums who manage Christmas. More than a quarter (26%) of Britain’s mums get the job of buying all the presents (birthday and Christmas) for the children, compared to just 12% of the nation’s dads. Meanwhile an encouraging 50% of mums and dads share the overall gift buying responsibilities.

In the words of Alexandra Richmond, Senior Consumer and Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel, gift shopping is a struggle for many men, so it is no surprise that Britain’s mums are the most likely to land the job of doing the Christmas shop. Shopping for the family’s gifts can be quite a time-consuming job, adding to mums’ already ram-packed schedule. Although mum is more likely to be topping up presents from Santa for the children, it’s a safe bet that she’ll also be getting presents for the other relatives too.

Stand by for more updates on Christmas products in our next issue.

The Grocery Trader

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