Holiday season - What areas did consumers overspend on?
February 9th, 2024, Lesley Simeon

Holiday season - What areas did consumers overspend on?

Every holiday season is practically an excuse to let loose - on diets, restaurant visits, apparel shopping and maybe even travel. In this piece, we discuss to what extent consumers may have splurged on gifts, groceries, eating out, socializing and travel during their most recent holiday season.

According to data from a recent YouGov survey that polled consumers across 17 international markets, among people who had budgets for items like gifts, groceries, eating out, socializing and travel, the most common category for them to overshoot that budget was groceries, with more than two in ten respondents (22%) saying so.

However, along with gifts (35%), groceries is also the category in which consumers were most likely to stay within their budgets (35%).

During the holiday season, consumers stayed under budget the most for gifts (42%).

Let’s now focus on the category that consumers were most likely to exceed their budgets in - groceries - and look at the data from individual markets.

Canadians and Germans are the most likely across all markets (27% each) to say they exceeded their grocery budgets during the holiday season. Poles follow at a close second (26%).

A quarter of Brits and Australians (25% each) also overshot their grocery budgets. Indonesians lead (22%) in Asia, among those who are most likely to have exceeded their holiday season grocery budgets.

Fewer than a quarter of Americans (23%) exceeded their grocery budgets, while the corresponding figure in India is slighter lower at 20%. In the UAE, almost two in ten consumers (19%) exceeded their grocery budgets.

Consumers in the Nordic markets - Sweden (11%) and Denmark (12%) are the least likely across all markets we survey to say they spent more on groceries than what they planned to. Within Asia, Hong Kongers (16%) were the least likely to have overspent on groceries.

As for those who stayed under their grocery budgets, Danes (50%) and Indians (50%) lead with half of all consumers in these markets saying they stayed under budgets for groceries during the holiday season. Italy (47%), UAE (46%) and Hong Kong (43%) are some of the other markets where consumers were most likely to stay under budget.

Germans, on the other hand, were least likely to stay under their grocery budgets (12%). In Great Britain, nearly two in ten consumers (19%) say they stayed under their grocery budgets during the holiday season, while in the USA, more than one in five (22%) say the same. In Asia, Singaporeans were the least likely (32%) to have stayed under their grocery budgets.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 16 markets with sample sizes varying between 500 and 2001 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in November 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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