Rockville, MD — Gifting food is rising in popularity, and not just for the major four holidays, as many shoppers are sending consumables “just because” and for “Hallmark holidays,” according to Packaged Facts. As a result, the food gifting market is anticipated to grow 3.5 percent in 2016, reaching $18 billion.
Boxed chocolates and candy remain the most popular food category to give, with nearly 30 percent of shoppers that gave food purchasing from the industry, according to the market researcher. Other popular categories for gifting include sweet baked items, nuts and salty snacks, and hot beverage sets such as coffee and hot chocolate.
Packaged Facts reports a majority of this growth will come from consumer sales, which are expected to grow 2.5 percent in 2016. In comparison, corporate gift sales are expected grow 4 percent this year.
While sales will be driven by celebrations outside the major four holidays, Packaged Facts finds the winter holidays will continue to be a key period for this market. In fact, almost half of consumers that have purchased food to give have done so during the winter holidays, while 32 percent that bought food gifts for self-consumption also do so during those seasons.