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Gen Z say ‘bar-humbug’ this Christmas

Grace Okon, Brand Marketing Executive

Nottingham UK, December 2018

  • Students give alcohol-fuelled nights the boot this Christmas in favour of quality experiences with friends
  • Gen Z are budgeting far higher for festive experiences with friends over gift giving
  • Spending money on looking great over the Christmas period still matters for the Instagram generation

Students put spending quality time with friends they haven’t seen in a while at the top of their Christmas wish lists this year, while alcohol-fuelled nights are falling out of favour, says new research from UNiDAYS, the world’s leading student affinity network.

Findings show that nearly a third of students are opting for the more relaxed and quieter settings of restaurants (28 per cent) and shopping centres (25 per cent) for quality catch ups over their Christmas holidays, compared to the one in 10 students choosing to socialise at a bar or club. Not massively surprising when you consider recent report from BMC Public Health, which found more than a quarter (29 per cent) of young people have classified themselves as ‘non-drinkers’.

Many have also set aside a healthy budget to ensure they get to see friends outside of their homes, with 90 per cent planning to spend up to £200 on quality experiences.

Looking good is still just as important for the Instagram generation, with nearly four fifths (75 per cent) buying new outfits for their Christmas catch ups. Of those, nine in 10 (87 per cent) are planning to spend up to £200 on their winter wonderland wardrobe.

With YouTube tutorials being a firm favourite amongst this generation, it comes as no surprise that make up (30 per cent) and manicures (16 per cent) are the next biggest expense for students this Christmas. As a consumer group that favours memories and experiences over material items, it’s clear to see why they have budgeted a greater sum for socialising than they have for gift giving, with four fifths of students planning to spend up to £400 over the Christmas break to see their friends and look ‘social media’ ready. In contrast, almost a third of students (27 per cent) only set aside £50 to £100 for buying all their presents, whilst a tenth (13 per cent) will only have up to £50 to spare on gifts this year.

Mai Fenton, VP Marketing EMEA at UNiDAYS, says: “For a generation where experiences factor so highly, it comes as no surprise that students want to spend their time and money on quality experiences with close friends – especially those they haven’t had a chance to see during term time. They have a limited amount of time at home for Christmas and it’s clear to see they are trying to cram in as much as they can during this period with two thirds of students saying they are planning to socialise anywhere from four to 10 times over the break.

At UNiDAYS, we want to give students the power to make every experience more valuable and rewarding with a range of deals and discounts that can support them as they look to make the most of their Christmas holidays.”

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