Younger generation keen to shop over long break

Updated: Jan 17, 2024
Shoppers check out Spring Festival decoration items at a mall in Yuncheng, Shanxi province, on Sunday. YAN XIN/FOR CHINA DAILY

Young people in China are playing greater roles as decisionmakers as Spring Festival draws nigh, willing to spend more and seeking memorable experiences, according to a lifestyle market survey.

"Spring Festival holds paramount significance as the key annual celebration, encompassing the run-up to the holiday and the festival itself, periods that serve as distinct shopping opportunities," said Jason Yu, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel China.

Yu said this year's heightened expectations for Lunar New Year festivities have spurred increased marketing initiatives aligned with diverse moments and needs.

As revealed by its 2024 report on insights on social media trends during the festival, jointly compiled by Kantar, a market research institute, and Xiaohongshu, a lifestyle-focused social media platform, about 83 percent of those aged between 18 and 35 consider themselves or their partners to be primary planners for the festival in the Year of the Dragon, with the bulk of the rest naming their parents as the key organizers.

The report, based on interviews with 400 young consumers across first, second and third-tier cities, said 48 percent of respondents are opting to celebrate the holiday at home, 33 percent plan to return to hometowns and some 18 percent intend to travel.

Compared to the Spring Festival last year, 68 percent of consumers plan to increase their spending for the upcoming extended holiday, 26 percent have no budgetary changes in mind and only 6 percent will tighten their purse strings over the break.

The report found that hot commodities during the Spring Festival are apparel and accessories (48 percent), snacks, alcohol and beverages (36 percent), fresh produce (36 percent), restaurants (36 percent) and personal hygiene (36 percent).

Travel spending is expected to rise some 36 percent, ranking third among growing categories.

As for activities planned for the break, 97 percent of young individuals will prioritize "food and drinks", 55 percent will focus on activities imbued with festival vibes, 36 percent plan to participate in Lunar New Year dinner preparations, 36 percent will take part in indoor entertainment and recreational activities while some 30 percent will focus on healthy activities and gift giving.

The motivations behind these festival plans predominantly revolve around seeking positive starts to the beginning of a new lunar year, creating unforgettable experiences, improving mental and physical health, and fostering family ties.

On social media platforms, young people are exploring ideas for a joyful holiday, including indulging in culinary delights, sharing local specialties, experiencing diverse cuisine, checking out outdoor markets or galas, and taking part in banquets and other activities.

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