Easter and its mountains of chocolates are just around the corner. The cultural excuse of the year to enjoy plenty of sweet treats, sorry, plenty of family time…
This is the biggest commercial opportunity among the spring and summer celebrations, in front of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, with 61% of all Brits spending money on this occasion (source: Mintel, Seasonal Shopping (Spring/Summer) – UK – October 2015).
Without any surprise, most of this money is spent on confectionery (67% of the Easter purchases) followed by in-home food and drink (16%).
But Easter goes beyond chocolate eating and roast lamb buying, so we asked our YourVoice Community what their plans were.
Being one of the first spring weekends means that outdoor and nature related activities are the most popular (41% of people doing so).
‘We usually go to a National Trust site in Croome, Worcestershire and do an Easter egg hunt. It’s fun and it’s good to get out and about’
- Stephanie 45-54
‘Usually my family and I go to an Easter event in either the nature park near home or at my grandma’s – this could be a picnic, Easter egg hunt or just a fun day’
- Lucy, 18-34
Cooking and baking activities come second with 28%, showing the importance of food in celebrating the end of Lent.
‘In order to spend quality time with my girls I would like to cook something with them. I am not particularly great in the kitchen so I would like to learn a new recipe or create something new’
- Mark 45-54
For households with children there is a high skew for educational and cultural activities, (36%) whereas going to free events is stronger for people without children (27%).
Those activities are usually spread throughout the holidays to avoid big expenses, over-tired or bored children. This is only when work schedules make this possible. Full-time workers have to focus the fun on the bank holiday and/or the weekend.
When it comes to planning these activities and this holiday, spontaneity is key for 23% of the respondents, as in some cases the lovely and unpredictable British weather may have an impact on their decisions.
‘I only plan a day or two before, mainly because of the weather. If it’s going to be dry I plan a trip to the seaside or to a country park because these are ‘free’ but I might plan a trip to an animal centre. If it’s wet I’d plan a trip to the cinema or the museum as both are within walking distance of home now’
- Jan, 65+
Among households with children, the planning process is between a couple of weeks and a couple of days (54%).
On the other side, 23% of childfree respondents don’t remember how far in advance they planned their holiday – showing their lack of involvement in the planning process, or the little effect that school/bank holidays have on the way they spend their time.
‘I don’t have school holidays as I don’t have children. I go on holiday outside of school holidays usually’
- Daniel, 18-34
There seem to be a large array of sources involved in their planning process, the first point being local newspapers, newsletters and advertising as well as search engines to inspire and give ideas.
The other main step seems to be review and travel websites or word of mouth from friends and families who have an opinion about the chosen activity.
‘If I’m in Cornwall, I would look at a local paper called the West Briton. It includes a money off voucher too. I just Google days out with teenager or look at Time Out . Also we look at Geo cache (when we go out for a walk).’
- Helen, 35-45
When it comes to brands, people’s association between companies and Easter goes beyond Cadbury eggs and Lindt rabbits.
Children-friendly and family-focused brands such as theme parks, fast food chains and holiday resorts, shopping malls, museums or libraries are seen as part of the celebration.
‘We find Disney doing quite innovative things for kids during their holiday along with McDonald’s as they always have something new on their shelves whenever we go during the school holiday for snacking or food. It’s always a great pleasure to go there during school holidays’
- Shipra, 18-34
This celebration is therefore a great and valuable opportunity that brands can tap into with messages surrounding outdoor, educational or cooking activities as well as confectionary and in-home festive food. Communications such as events, outdoor experiential, local and online media represent efficient places to target households with or without children.