Irish consumers plan €528m splurge on Christmas fare

Despite growth in discounters, survey finds people return to traditional outlets for festive shop

Irish consumers plan to ring in the end of austerity with a €528 million splurge on food and drink this Christmas.

That's according to new research by digital marketing group Webloyalty, which also suggests that despite the growth of discount multiples like Aldi and Lidl, when it comes to the big Christmas shop, people are planning to return to the traditional outlets.

The survey found Tesco was the number one choice for festive food shopping (25.4 per cent), followed closely by Dunnes (23.1 per cent), SuperValu (21.9 per cent) and Marks and Spencer (19.2 per cent).

Only 7.6 per cent said they plan to shop in Lidl with 8.9 per cent intending to food shop in Aldi.


Overall, the survey estimated consumers will spend €528 million on Christmas fare this year, up 3.6 per cent on last year.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of people said they plan to shop in-store for food as opposed to online.

More than three in four people said they were planning to spend up to €20 per person on Christmas dinner alone.

Almost half (47.2 per cent) said a Christmas-themed box of chocolates, such as Roses or Quality Street, is an essential purchase for the festive season, while a third (32.3 per cent) said Christmas tins of biscuits are a must-have.

Just under 28 per cent said seasonal alcoholic beverages such as Baileys and eggnog are on their Christmas shopping list.

Another unsurprising finding was that the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings is the most commonly eaten food at Christmas. Though the survey indicated a small minority (5 per cent) of people plan to tuck into steak on December 25th.

Other popular items include Christmas pudding (44.3 per cent), mince pies (44.3 per cent), Christmas cake (35.9 per cent) and smoked salmon (11.2 per cent).

Webloyalty's Guy Chiswick said: "Aside from Christmas gifts, food is the item shoppers spend the most on over Christmas and we estimate that €528 million will be spent on food and drink this year."

“It was interesting to see that when it comes to shopping for festive food, the discounters don’t fare as well as other well-known supermarket brands, with Tesco and Dunnes coming out top with Irish shoppers.”

“This indicates that consumers are willing to spend a bit extra on food at Christmas and there is also a clear demand for seasonal items with mince pies, Christmas cake and seasonal biscuits and chocolates on shopping lists around the country.”

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times