Brits’ Gift-Giving Habits: What the Nation Really Wants

  • ver 1 in 5 Brits chose money as their most desired gift
  • 74% of Brits still want to receive traditional gifts that can be unwrapped.
  • Only 20% of Brits consider the environmental impact of gifts before purchasing and decide not to buy a gift.

With humans consuming more resources than ever before, it’s become widely known how these wasteful behaviours can affect the environment. So much so, we’re actively trying to adapt our lifestyles to reduce our lasting footprint on the planet. But how much are we willing to change our traditions, especially when gifts are involved?

Packaging supplier RAJA has surveyed 2,000 people to reveal Brits’ gifting habits, with a focus on what it is we truly want, how we give gifts, and whether we consider the environmental impact of gifts when buying them.

What do we really want? Money, things and more things!

Even though we might describe our generation as ‘experiential’, our research reveals that not even 2 in 10 people would prefer an experiential gift over a tangible gift.

Interestingly, money was the top choice of gift recipients wanted to receive – over a quarter of Brits (26%) chose this, perhaps signalling that financial pressures are causing us to pick the more practical choice.

This does not mean we are ready to let go of ‘things’, however. Turns out, we’re still a consumerist society with 74% of Brits wanting to receive ‘tangible’ gifts that can be unwrapped at special occasions, such as clothes, tech and books.

The most desired gifts are:

  1. Money
  2. Clothing
  3. Experiences
  4. Technology
  5. Nothing
  6. Beauty
  7. Books and stationery
  8. Home décor
  9. Home electronics
  10. Charity donation

A further look showed that women preferred to receive clothes (21%) and beauty products (12%) while men prefer technology (23%) and clothes (19%).


Gifting is important and here’s why

Further to this, we found that over 1 in 3 people (36%) feel guilty if they don’t give a tangible gift to someone on a special occasion – but, why?

  • Because it’s sentimental: 53% said that a tangible gift feels more thoughtful and personal than something digital.
  • Because it’s an experience: Over 1 in 3 people (37%) consider it important that people have something to unwrap.
  • Because of social etiquette: 28% claim they do it because it’s the ‘proper’ thing to do.
  • Because of obligation: 18% feel obligated to return the gesture.