A new report from TWC has highlighted the importance of entertaining at home, a legacy of the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. Almost 7 in 10 consumers said that they have entertained friends at home in the last month and/or they plan to do so in the next month. This equates to more people entertaining at home than the percentage that have met friends/family in a pub, implying a significant opportunity for both retail and foodservice operators and suppliers to create products to target this in-home occasion.

The report shows that four months after the full lockdown ended in July 2021, 83% of the nation had visited a hospitality establishment in the last month – which is higher than the proportion saying that they had visited a supermarket, at 80%. So, despite some caution amongst older generations, penetration has returned to pubs, bars and restaurants. However, what may not have returned is the same level of frequency and spend as pre-pandemic, aligning with the high proportion of consumers opting to entertain at home.

Sarah Coleman, Director of Communications at TWC, commented: “With high future intent to entertain at home, retailers have an opportunity to target home entertaining occasions, to meet the needs of those that don’t want to go out, or indeed those who have enjoyed entertaining at home through the pandemic and wish to continue. If current concerns about the new Omicron variant lead to further restrictions, retailers need to be prepared for an increase in in-home occasions.

“Our data shows that home entertaining with food from restaurants appeals to all age groups, with more than a quarter of consumers saying they would happily consider ordering food from a restaurant to eat at home when they entertain, but we see this as an opportunity not only for foodservice operators but also retailers – be they physical, local or online.”

The new report from TWC Trends also showed that businesses who get to know their customers – for instance, who they are, what they buy and when – are likely to get ahead.”

Coleman continued: “Over half of those questioned said they are happy for businesses to collect data about their spending habits if they personalise their offer better in return. Furthermore, over a third of consumers agreed that convenience stores should collect and use customer data to offer personalised products and promotions.

“If we align this back to the question of home entertainment, stores have a real opportunity to think about marketing new occasions through deals and promotions and driving loyalty with customers. Data plays a pivotal role in this. Our report shows that 53% of the population is happy for businesses to collect data. Those businesses that aren’t close to their customers will be the ones that lose out. You can be sure that if you aren’t targeting your customers with personalised offers, that the shop or restaurant down the road – or Deliveroo – will be!”.

The insight comes from the first in a series of new mini reports from TWC Trends. The (Re)-Emerging Behaviours study examines attitudes to socialising both within and outside of the home.

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