Mothers are very special people in our lives. They play perhaps the most influential role in the creation of who we are out of everyone else we encounter.
For many, the first thought to cross our mind in moments of stress, hardship, celebration, success, or confusion, is to talk to our mothers. They are our best friends and our caretaker all in one fantastic, motherly package.
All of that can take a lot of energy though, which is why it’s so important that we take the time to celebrate them.
Origins of Mother’s Day
Mother’s day in the UK originated as the Christian holiday of Mothering Sunday which was traditionally celebrated on the fourth Sunday of lent each year. This was an event that took people to their hometowns to visit the church of their baptism, also known as their “mother church”.
While the date of Mother’s Day in the UK still follows that of the traditional Mothering Sunday, the holiday has become more similar to the version celebrated in the US: A day to celebrate our mothers and spoil them rotten.
Anna Jarvis is the woman credited with the creation of the US Mother’s day, and we suspect that she wouldn’t approve of what it has become. Her distaste for commercialism is clear from her comment in the 1920s, “To have Mother’s Day the burdensome, wasteful, expensive gift day that Christmas and other special days have become, is not our pleasure,” she said, adding that “If the American people are not willing to protect Mother’s Day from the hordes of money schemers that would overwhelm it with their schemes, then we shall cease having a Mother’s Day—and we know how.”
Unfortunately (or fortunately!), Mother’s Day has become quite commercialised. Here’s an overview of the spending statistics and trends of Mother’s Day in the UK.
How Much Do People Spend on Mother’s Day Gifts in the UK?
In 2019, Brits spent around £1.23 billion on Mothers Day expenses, an increase of more than 25% from 2017. A survey of 2000 British residents found that the average person planned to spend around £72 on Mothers Day gifts, and around 70% of the population would be celebrating with a gift.
The 2020 Covid-19 quarantine took its toll on the Mother’s Day gift market just as much as it did every other market worldwide. The retail penetration of mothers day declined from 59.5% in 2019 to 53.7% in 2020. 25.4% of UK consumers spent less on Mother’s Day gifts that year, and many people weren’t even able to see their mothers. In total, consumers spent about the same amount on gifts as in 2019, but the majority of sales were happening online.
2021, however, saw a rise in Mother’s Day spending, presumably because people were trying to make up for 2020. In total, the population spent approximately £1.34 billion on Mothers Day.
There is a growing sentiment that Mother’s Day is becoming too commercial, much like all the other holidays. According to 28.2% of the respondents in GlabalData’s survey, the most popular activity for Mother’s Day is a simple visit to mum, which doesn’t cost a thing. The general trend in the UK seems to be placing more emphasis on the original values of the holiday, rather than the value of the gifts.
Where are People Buying Their Gifts?
The majority of gift purchases in 2021 were done online, although there was still some attention paid to small businesses and speciality stores. This is the breakdown of where most consumers spent their money on Mother’s Day:
- Online (34%)
- Department stores and supermarkets (28%)
- Speciality stores, such as jewellers and florists (26%)
- Small businesses (34%)
As consumers become more and more driven by convenience in their choices, online shopping is taking the lead as the number one place to find just about anything we need.
What are the Most Popular Gifts for Mother’s Day?
Mother’s Day gifts never really change, and they don’t need to!
The formula of commercial holiday gifting is simple and effective. The popularity of certain types of gifts does, however, vary. In 2021, the top 3 most popular gifts were greeting cards, flowers, and special outings. Here is a list of the most popular mother’s day gifts with percentages:
- Greeting Cards – 72%
- Flowers – 68%
- Special Outing – 49%
- Gift Cards – 47%
- Clothing and Accessories – 40%
- Jewellery – 35%
- Homeware – 26%
- Personal Service – 25%
- Books and CDs – 23%
- Electronics – 20%
The percentage of flowers being bought for Mother’s Day gifts went up by 4%, which is a bigger change than any other gift type.
Top Trends of Mother’s Day 2021
This is a collection of statistics and trends from 2021 based on reports from GlobalData. While consumers were still being affected by Covid-19, the majority of people were more likely to make an effort to celebrate Mother’s Day.
After a year of restrictions, consumers preferences and attitudes have changed dramatically. Indulgence, however, was still highly in demand, with 56% of consumers admitting that their purchases are heavily influenced by the enjoyability and uniqueness of the products.
Female consumers are especially attracted to novel experiences, with 34% of women choosing to try unusual, new or trendy versions of deserts, confectionary, and chocolates and 39% having the same attitude towards fancy alcoholic drinks. Men, on the other hand, have much lower scores of 28% and 24% respectively.
In a comment from Nina Nowak, a Senior Researcher at GlobalData, she said, “Mother’s Day 2021 will bring an opportunity for brands to test the long-term potential of indulgent or tailored options to these newly minded consumers – especially with confectionery, snacking and alcoholic drinks brands.”
Another notable trend is the use of humour in this year’s Mother’s Day products. These products acknowledge the desire to feel positive and comforted in a time that has been extremely difficult for many people.
Working From Home
The Covid-19 restrictions meant that many people were working from home as well as homeschooling their children. This has led to a rise in demand for products that are indulgent, but also convenient, comforting and bring consumers a sense of calmness.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect the way consumers are celebrating, but regulations are becoming less and less serious. As we become more comfortable interacting with the world, our spending is expanding once more. And mothers in the UK and around the world should be in for a treat!
Nathan has always been captivated by numbers and patterns. With a Master’s degree in Statistics, he’s honed his skills to decipher complex data sets and discern market trends.
Over the past decade, Nathan has worked with various firms compiling and analyzing industry spending figures to forecast market movements.