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Women almost twice as likely to dine out during Christmas time

15 September 2014

Consumers will look to get in the festive spirit this Christmas with 18% of UK adults saying that they will dine out more in the run up to Christmas. Women will have the most Christmas cheer in restaurants this year, whilst 18-24 year olds will drive the winter street food boom, finds new survey by Canadean. 

According to the survey of 2,000 UK consumers, 22% of women eat out more than usual in the run up to Christmas, compared to only 14% of men. Similarly, 11% of women look to spend more money on food in December than in other months in order to treat themselves, compared to 9% of men. Catherine O’Connor, senior analyst at Canadean says: “This shows that women have a greater need for meals out to unwind during December shopping and preparation days. They are also eager to avoid cooking at home during this busy month and see winter meals out as an ideal way to catch up with friends, whereas men remain more likely to meet friends in the pub.”

Restaurants most popular for out of home eating

Restaurants are the most popular destination for December dining, with 42% of women and 34% of men visiting them with friends and family over the period. Moreover, 23% of women and 18% of men visit restaurants with their work colleagues in December as end of year parties drive significant footfall. Younger consumers are driving the winter street food boom. This December will see a third of those aged 18-24 enjoying food from outdoor vendors. O'Connor adds: "Younger adults are putting a higher value on experiences than they do on material purchases, leading to this high desire for fun outdoor activities to enjoy with friends."

Consumers seek traditional winter-warmers

When asked what they like to eat when they go out for dinner in December, warming food, such as casseroles and shepherd's pies, as well as traditional choices, such as a turkey dinner, were number one priority, with each of these being sought after by 30% of consumers. 23% of consumers want food that helps them to get into a celebratory mood, and 13% look to sample winter treats from other countries. There is also an emerging trend for lighter and healthier options – particularly among women – with 17% of females looking for dishes that are not too heavy and 16% seeking healthier options. By contrast, men are more eager to find winter food that offers hearty, indulgent tastes. According to O’Connor, “consumers show a significant desire for a broader range of winter food options; however, the traditional roast dinner won’t disappear from Christmas menus anytime soon.” 

Christmas Dinner

Women enjoy eating out at restaurants during Christmas time. 


All numbers used in this text are based on a recent Canadean consumer survey of 2,000 UK-based adults. This survey was conducted in August 2014. 

Please get in contact if you have any questions to this or other Canadean data. Analysts are available to comment. Contact the Canadean press office on +44 (0) 20 3096 5768 or email

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