What Mexicans plan to buy, eat and do this Christmas – and how it differs by age
November 24th, 2022, Alejandro R. Chavez

What Mexicans plan to buy, eat and do this Christmas – and how it differs by age

In Mexico, Christmas is among the holidays that almost the entire population celebrates in more or less the same way: Families get together to prepare and enjoy home-made meals and punch, share memories, exchange presents, use fireworks and even go out with neighbors to ask for “posada”. However, there are key differences among the different age groups regarding exactly what they are buying, eating and where are they planning to spend this Christmas.

According to a study conducted by YouGov Survey Direct among Mexican consumers, 86% of the general population that has plans to celebrate Christmas Eve said they will spend the night with their family. However, younger adults (between 18 and 24 years old) are more much more likely to spend the holiday with their friends or alone than other age groups. Almost all of the most senior Mexicans (55 years old and up), on the other hand, will be with their families, while consumers between 45 and 54 years old are more likely than others to do other things, mainly work or spend the night with their pets.

There’s also disagreement on what kind of dishes should be present in a traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Adults between 18 and 24 years old, as well as those between 35 and 44, are much more likely to say they usually eat tamales on December 24th, while Mexican consumers between 45 and 54 years old like turkey more than other generations.

Meanwhile, senior citizens seem to have a stronger preference for romeritos and cod, while Mexicans between 25 and 34-years-old dislike those same dishes more than the other age groups. Overall, however, the apple salad remains as the favorite Christmas Eve dish in the country.

The way Mexican consumers choose and buy presents is also vastly different according to age, with some surprising contradictions to popular belief. For example, the youngest Mexican adults aren´t the most interested in buying their Christmas presents through online channels. Around 20% of adults between 18 and 24 years old are thinking on using online channels to purchase their Christmas gifts, the same as the level for the overall population. Ecommerce seems to be most popular in the 25-to-34-year-old bracket instead, with over a quarter of that population choosing internet platforms over traditional retail.

The romanticized image that most of the country has of proud grandparents giving their bills away to children also doesn´t hold true: Around 28% of young adults of 18 to 24 years old are planning to use money as a Christmas gift, compared to just 19% of 55+ year old consumers. These older Mexicans, in fact, are more likely to choose clothes as a present for their family and friends. Toys are the preferred choice of adults between 35 to 44 years old, a finding consistent with the average age of Mexicans with children.

There are also important differences on how Mexicans are planning to complete their Christmas purchases depending on their age. For example, only 28% of consumers between 35 to 44 years old plan to use debit cards while completing their purchases, becoming the age bracket with the least likelihood of using that method. Meanwhile, Mexicans from 18 to 24 years old are the least likely to use credit cards, with only 22% of those surveyed citing this as their preferred payment, and the most likely to choose cash transactions (33% vs 24% of the overall population).
However, not every Christmas experience in Mexico will be unique for each age group. Overall, almost half (47%) of the population is planning to take advantage of the Buen Fin and Black Friday to complete their Christmas purchases, without many differences between groups. There are also similar insights across age groups on how much more or less they will spend in Christmas shopping compared to last year: In general, 25% of Mexicans will spend more, 30% will cut back expenses and 32% will maintain their budget.

However, the most notable point of agreement among the age groups are the brands they most closely relate with Christmas. For food brands, 46% of Mexican consumers think of Bimbo and 41% think of Tusti-pop Tusti-Bota when thinking of Christmas. In the drinking category, the brands that overall Mexicans relate most to Christmas are Nochebuena (55%) and Don Julio (47%); while Liverpool is the place where most local consumers are planning to purchase their gifts (65%).

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The insights in this report are drawn from a recent local custom survey uncovering how Mexican consumers think about Christmas, which kind of brands they most associate with the holiday, and what kind of purchases and activities are they planning for December 24th. The study covers 1,021 adults in Mexico, representative of the national adult population (18+), with an urban focus. The survey was carried out online between 24th - 27th October 2022.

The YouGov panel provides a naturally accurate and representative view of the population. Data is adjusted using a mild weighting team using interlocking demographic characteristics—methodology considered advanced in the market research space.