£900m CHRISTMAS FOOD AND DRINK BILL AS OLDER PEOPLE FUND FESTIVITIES

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Huge numbers of over 50s are defying belt-tightening to ensure that their families, friends and local communities have the best possible Christmas, according to new data* from Saga. Over half the nation’s over 50s (56%) will pay for their families’ entire food and drink bill this Christmas, rising to two thirds (65%) of those aged 50 to 60, spending an estimated £896 million** on festive food shopping.

£900m CHRISTMAS FOOD AND DRINK BILL AS OLDER PEOPLE FUND FESTIVITIES

  • Over 50s expect to provide all the trimmings
  • Widespread goodwill shared with family, friends and communities


Huge numbers of over 50s are defying belt-tightening to ensure that their families, friends and local communities have the best possible Christmas, according to new data* from Saga. Over half the nation’s over 50s (56%) will pay for their families’ entire food and drink bill this Christmas, rising to two thirds (65%) of those aged 50 to 60, spending an estimated £896 million** on festive food shopping.

Of the 9.2m*** over 50s expected to be hosting Christmas in their own home for their children and grandchildren this year, two fifths (37%) claimed to be following a family tradition of providing Christmas dinner, a further one fifth (17%) explained they follow a rotation and this year it is their turn and one in ten (8%) claim their children find it too stressful and expensive to host. 6% stated they were going on holiday instead.

The poll of 10,000 older people for Saga also shows that only 3% of over 50s claim to be paying nothing at all towards Christmas food and drink – that it is all provided for them, while one quarter (23%) are expected to make a contribution in the form of a turkey or wine, and one in five (19%) will take part in a festive bake-off in order to provide Christmas puddings, cakes and mince pies.

In a further sign of older people extending Christmas cheer, the research also pointed to one in ten (9%) volunteering in their local communities, one in seven (15%) inviting in neighbours for a festive tipple and a chat, and a further one in ten (12%) currently warming up their vocal chords to start up carol singing.

Dr. Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga, commented: “Despite the current alarming living costs faced by older people in the UK, these generations by and large don't stop giving. Not only are older people supporting their children and grandchildren with general living costs, they are also continuing to foot the bills through one of the most expensive times of the year for many people.”

ENDS

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS
*Populus field info

** Christmas Spend
http://www.the-spirit-of-christmas.co.uk/index.php/christmas-facts

It has been estimated that £1.6bn is spent on food and drink over Christmas. Saga’s survey found that 56% of over fifties will be paying for all food and drink which is the equivalent to £896million.


***21m over 50s in the UK (TGI - Target Group Index

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