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Mintel Announces The Global Food And Drink Trends For 2018

Posted By Jenny Zegler, Mintel, Wednesday 13 December 2017
Updated: Friday 8 December 2017

Mintel food and drink  trends 2018

In 2018, expect to see transparency and traceability for all, regardless of income. From ingredient scares to political bombshells, self-care has become a priority for many and one that includes choosing food and drink that will address perceived nutritional, physical and emotional needs. Further, opportunities will be plentiful for natural, tantalising and unexpected textures, like chewy beverages for instance. 

Meanwhile, retailer and manufacturer access to personal data has opened up the doors for them to personalise offers and promotions. This ties up with the growth in online and mobile shopping, and even voice activated search that fuels consumer expectations of their desires being catered to and satisfied almost effortlessly. 

Looking ahead to 2018, Mintel has identified the major trends predicted to play out in the global food and drink market, beginning with the trends that will gain wider traction in the months ahead to emerging trends that are influential, but just on the fringe in many regions. Below, we’ve showcased three of these trends which we can predict will work their way across the Island of Ireland in the year ahead: Full Disclosure; New Sensations; and Preferential Treatment.

Full disclosure
“In our new post-truth reality, consumers require complete and total transparency from food and drink companies.”

A sizeable number of consumers around the world lack trust in regulatory systems, manufacturers, and even their fellow humans. This compounds a pre-existing wariness about food and drink because of product recalls, scandals, and suspicion about large companies. The need for reassurance about the safety and trustworthiness of food and drink has led to an increased use of natural as well as ethical and environmental claims in global food and drink launches. 

According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), natural product claims appeared on 29% of global food and drink launches from September 2016 to August 2017, up from 17% of global food and drink launches that used natural claims between September 2006 and August 2007. Similarly, ethical and environmental claims such as environmentally friendly packaging as well as animal and human welfare claims have risen to 22% of global food and drink introductions between September 2016 and August 2017. This is up from just 1% in the same period from 2006 to 2007.

As shown by the growth in natural, ethical, and environmental claims, widespread distrust has increased the need for food and drink manufacturers to be forthcoming about their ingredients, production processes, and supply chains. This places pressure on manufacturers to offer thorough and honest disclosures about their products. Food and drink transparency can take many different directions but the various claims serve a singular purpose: to help consumers feel more confident about the safety and purity of the food and drink they purchase.

In addition to disclosing more specific transparency details, the next wave of clean label challenges manufacturers and retailers to democratise transparency and traceability so that products are accessible to all consumers regardless of household income. Making transparency attainable to consumers reflects the principles of Mintel’s 2017 Global Food & Drink Trend ‘Balancing the Scales: Health for Everyone’, which noted that healthy food and drink are not to be considered luxuries.


French milk brand C’est qui le patron?! (which translates to “Who’s the boss?!”) surveyed 6,850 consumers online about half a dozen criteria from farm gate price to packaging in order to develop its product.

New Sensations
“Texture is the latest tool to engage the senses and deliver share-worthy experiences.”

Encounters that appeal to multiple senses can provide consumers with escapes from the routine and stress of their lives, opportunities to make memories, or generate ‘like-worthy’ social media posts. Mintel’s 2016 Global Food & Drink Trend ‘Eat With Your Eyes’ observed the potential for food and drink to involve more of the senses through colour, shape, fragrance, and other formulation elements. In 2018, the sound, feel, and satisfaction that texture provides will become more important to companies and consumers alike.

Texture has a particular opportunity to follow the lead of colour, which has become a popular feature in formulations that aim to allure more of the senses. Food and drink products have used a variety of ingredients like turmeric, matcha and activated charcoal to create vibrantly hued drinks, snacks, and other food that attracts attention, especially on Instagram and other image-centric media. Colour will continue to be important, but texture is the next facet of formulation that can be leveraged to provide consumers with interactive—and documentation-worthy—experiences.
From chewy beverages to multi-textured concoctions such as freakshakes, texture can make products more captivating for consumers who continue to seek food and drink that is perceived as fresh, functional, filling, or simply fun. To align with this trend, brands can ensure products contain multiple, contrasting textures, which allow for a complex and engaging consumption experience for consumers. 

Asia is a model for the potential of unexpected applications of texture in food and drink because the region hosts a range of beverages with pulp, tapioca pearls, and extra carbonation along with food that also boasts innovative textures that might be unheard of in other parts of the world. The latest textured beverage to take Asia by storm is cheese tea, a bubble or iced tea drink topped with cream cheese, leaving the drinker with a telltale cream cheese moustache. 

In 2018, more products can be developed with combinations of textures that surprise and delight consumers. As with colour, more companies have the opportunity to add texture via natural ingredients, such as the pulp of fruit or vegetables, the tingle of spicy peppers, or carbonation resulting from fermentation as with kombucha. Production processes also can be utilised to enhance or innovate around texture, such as freeze-drying fruit for snacking or twice-baking salty snacks.

Nabisco Oreo honored US Independence Day celebrations with a limited-edition chocolate Oreo with red and blue popping candy inside the cream.

Preferential Treatment

A new era in personalisation is dawning due to the expansion of online and mobile food shopping. 

Motivated by the potential to save time and ideally money, consumers are sampling a variety of channels and technologies when shopping for food and drink. The latest evolutions in shopping offer consumers prompt and affordable delivery, a curated adventure courtesy of subscription services, ease of automatic replenishment, and simplicity of synchronisation with smart home devices.

Busy consumers are drawn to e-commerce sites, mobile apps, voice control, and other online and mobile options because they are advantageous to their busy schedules and potentially their budgets. As technology helps to make shopping as effortless as possible, an era of targeted promotions and products is emerging. The adoption of voice-enabled smart home accessories, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, will make it easier to add items to shopping lists. On the supplier end, brands, companies and retailers can leverage technology to establish new levels of efficiency, such as customised recommendations, cross-category pairings, and resourceful solutions that save consumers time, effort, and energy. 

Moving beyond convenience, technology will offer new possibilities for personalised recommendations of products and individually targeted promotions. The personalisation made possible by new technologies could draw in more consumers, and the main benefit for brands is that personalised offers will make the marketing spend more effective.

The rapid expansion in the variety of food and drink retail channels will fuel the opportunity for recommendations, promotions, and product innovations that are based on actual consumer behaviour patterns. While this offers opportunity, it also could compromise brand discovery and endanger brand loyalty because custom offers might prioritise benefits, such as convenience, value or time, over brand. 

Finally, companies also could tempt consumers by creating products, suggesting combinations of goods and other options across consumer categories that align with online and offline behaviours. This new era of plentiful places to shop will pressure all brands to be more relevant, efficient and/or affordable in order to retain customers.

Amazon launched a range of private label products in 2017 under the Happy Belly and Wickedly Prime brands, offering exclusive brands for online grocery shoppers.


Mintel’s 2018 Global Food & Drink Trends are the result of collaboration among 60 of of Mintel’s global expert analysts from around the world. These global conversations have led to key trends that reflect overarching consumer themes including trust, self-care, stress, individuality, and sustainability. To showcase the relevance of the five future-looking trends, our analyst insights have been supported by evidence gathered from Mintel’s proprietary consumer research, innovative developments observed by Mintel’s expert team of trend spotters, and international food and drink products collected in Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD). To download a free copy of the report, please visit:



Jenny Zegler is the dedicated trends analyst on Mintel’s Food & Drink platform, blending Mintel Trends expertise with food and drink specific topics, such as health and wellness, formulation, sustainability and premiumization. In addition to contributing analysis to Mintel Food & Drink, Jenny has been part of the team that creates Mintel’s annual cross-category trends since 2014.

Mintel is the world's leading market intelligence agency. For over 40 years, Mintel's expert analysis of the highest quality data and market research has directly impacted on client success. With offices in London, Chicago, Belfast, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Munich, New York, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand. For more information on Mintel, please visit Follow Mintel on Twitter: or join the Mintel LinkedIn group: For more information about how Mintel can help your business, contact Ciara Rafferty, Director, Mintel Ireland on +44 (0)28 9024 1849 or  

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Javelin on what it is like to be 30 in Ireland today

Posted By Javelin, Tuesday 12 December 2017

Javelin we are 30

Javelin are celebrating turning 30 with the release of “We are 30”. A short documentary on being 30 in Ireland today, shot over 12 hours by award-winning director, Garry Keane.  Joe Dobbin, Javelin MD said “one of the things we set out to do to celebrate our birthday, was to look forward and gain a unique insight into a very singular and important target audience for marketers today – Ireland’s 30 year olds.  Our film participants were born in 1987, a tumultuous year in Ireland, and the world. Things are changing -  things always do, but the latter part of this decade sees the birth of a generation that will grow up through a time of unprecedented change. From boom to bust to boom to the mother of all busts. Now, 30 years on, we’ve heard from 30 young Irish men and women, they grew up with the Web, they can’t imagine not having a computer in their pockets. They have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of ‘friends’. They have been deeply scarred by the Tiger. “We are 30” is an honest film, that we have really enjoyed making, that gives voice to the generation that is now on the cusp of taking over. Who are they? What do they believe in? What do they not believe in? Like the rest of us, they have hopes, and fears. And here they are”. 


Watch the trailer below or the full film here.



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Here Come The Clever Bots – bursting with artificial intelligence?

Posted By PR Smith, Tuesday 5 December 2017

here come the clever bots

Here come the Bots

A few years ago, the Gartner Group forecasted that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human (Gartner 2011).  So let’s have a look at bots. Part 1 explores What are Bots? What are Chatbots, Slackbots, Good Looking AI bots?;  Types of Bots (including Sales Bots, Lead Generation Bots and, wait for it, AI Marketing Assistant Bots as well as CRM Bots). Part 2 explores the Importance of Bots; Intelligent Bots; How to develop successful Bots.


What are Bots?

Bots are fast becoming a very hot topic in marketing since social media and mobile apps gave us messaging apps. Some bots (e.g. basic messaging apps like watsapp, viber, facebook messaging, Yahoo Messenger, playstation messages, skype) are now bigger than social media (see the chart below).  Bots are defined as software that performs an automated task over the Internet e.g. a shopping bot that searches for the best prices and recommendations. Or chatbots that engage in text conversation with customers. Since texting has become so popular, it’s not surprising to see that ‘chatbots are the next logical step in tech innovation’ (Cerny 2016). Soon most of them will become voice operated (like Apple iPhone’s Siri). Who knows, they may, one day even become thought operated. They will become more aesthetically pleasing.

messaging apps growth

Messaging apps have, for the first time ever, surpassed even social networks in popularity. McKetterick (2016)


What are Chatbots?

Chatbots are ‘special programmes that are integrated into messengers to interact with customers’  (Suvorov 2016). They are like apps that talk back (via text). The level of friendliness and sophistication depends on the quality of the natural language processing technologies and the level of human effort to develop appropriate (friendly) responses. Although we are still at a relatively early stage of Conversation Commerce, it is worth looking at Ivan Suvorov ‘Shopping in messengers article’ to see how four different retailers use chatbots to deliver varying degrees of satisfaction. Meanwhile good chatbots ask salient questions at the right time. Currently, complexity and common sense, limit chatbots for now (particularly in more complex businesses). However, it looks like there’s no slowing down the bot revolution & some of them will create competitive advantage.


What are Slackbots?

Bots can be added to Slack (which is a is a relatively new type of messaging for teams). Slack integrates with many other tools such as Mailchimp, Google Chrome, Calendars, DropBox, twitter). Team conversations are organised into channels (e.g. departments, office locations, projects or anything). Public channels are open to anyone in your team. Private channels are for specific invitees only. You can share files, images, documents, spreadsheets simply by dragging them & dropping them into the right channel.  Private direct messages. Plus direct messages to groups. It sends alerts. Everything is searchable and in synch across all devices. No more email!


What are Sophisticated, Good Looking AI Bots?

Bots will become more aesthetically pleasing & more intelligent.

Bots are always on and will become nicer looking and more intelligent as:


  • AI (Artificial Intelligence)
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Facial & Vocal Recognition

all continue to improve.

Some customers will be willing to pay for good advice or to have good conversations with particular bots that can help them solve various issues such as dating, marriage, divorce etc. Perhaps there is a gap for an ‘Oprah Bot’ (see below). Very personal stuff can be managed by robots, if initially, they don’t look like robots. Perhaps we might be happy to be advised by celebrities’ bots. After all, celebs are brands and research shows that many people (in the UK) trust brands more than they trust the church and the police.


The Uncanny Valley – Real Human Looking Robots Scare Children (today) 

In the 1970s, Japanese robotics engineer, Masahiro Mori, observed that the more human his robots appeared, the more people reacted positively towards them. But when robots look too similar to humans (but still seen as a robot) people saw them as ‘visually revolting’.

bots looking human

 Human Looking Bots can upset children

Mori called this ‘The Uncanny Valley’ – the chasm between ‘fully human’ and ‘nearly human’.  More recently audiences didn’t like the very realistic looking Final Fantasy movie animation (some children cried). Was this the ‘Uncanny Valley’? Dreamworks Studios were aware of this when producing Shrek, particularly when they tested their product (test screenings). They discovered that children perceived the movie to be spooky because the animations were almost real. Dreamworks then changed the characters to be less real and more cartoon-like. [Source: PR Smith 2016]


The Importance of Bots

Bots’ massive user base (see previous chart) is relatively young.  And they like the new interface which is no longer cumbersome texting but rather, it can be language-based (or voice operated), hands-free and, essentially easier and friendlier to use. Major players like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon are making announcements about bots (McKitterick 2016). Skype have their own too.

Skype bot

 Skype’s New bots

Remember, however, to succeed, the whole Bot experience must be all about helping customers (or entertaining them or informing them etc.). This can also mean saving customers time &/or having a ‘meaningful impact’ on their lives or their businesses.

Mobile messaging apps are massive. As Will McKetterick (2016) says: ‘The largest services have hundreds of millions of monthly active users (MAU). Falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features are helping propel their growth. Messaging apps are about more than messaging. Popular Asian messaging apps like WeChat, KakaoTalk, and LINE have taken the lead in finding innovative ways to maintain user engagement. Media companies, and marketers are still investing more time and resources into social networks like Facebook and Twitter than they are into messaging services. That may change as messaging companies develop their services and reach, and ultimately, provide more avenues for connecting brands, publishers, and advertisers with customers. Is this already happening as mentioned, messaging apps have, for the first time ever, surpassed even social networks in popularity (McKetterick 2016)?


Types of Bots

Shopping Bots

Cooking Bots

Marriage Bots

Oprah Bots

Golf Bots

Mechanic Bots

Election Bots

Customer Service Bots

Research Bots

Sales Bots, Lead Generation Bots & Retail Bots


Shopping Bots

Have been around a long time. I even predicted ‘shopping bot wars’ more than ten years ago when hovering hologram shopping bots cause queues as they argue with cashiers and bus drivers about prices (Smith 2005). Well the wars haven’t happened and the bots have been slow to appear, but they are coming. They are growing. Marketers need to familiarise themselves with them because message apps (early bots) are already bigger than social media. And they are getting cleverer as AI and access to multiple databanks kick in.

shopping bot kip

Shopping Bot by Kip

Kip helps to co-ordinate team purchases by pinging a message to staff re ‘who needs office stationary & equipment?’ Then items are added to a standing order & eventually bought with just one click.  Kip can also be used for personal shopping and even encourage customers to use emoji’s and photos to ‘discover new things’. Kip describes itself as ‘your personal shopper’.  Kip uses emojis and photos to ‘discover new things’. People can ask the bot for different things like “Chocolate” or “Coffee” and it will return a list of products. Then Kip earn a percentage on each transaction.

Kip Bots use emojis


Cooking Bot

While the bot will tell you that swapping Cumin for Coriander is okay in a certain recipe – it can also send you an article that talks about “5 Sriracha Infused Recipes That Will Leave Your Guests In Awe” (sponsored by Sriracha of course).


Marriage Bot

If you want anonymous marriage counselling, Ross Simmons et al (2016) suggest that ‘”Marriage counsellors can charge anywhere from $75 to $200 or more per hour depending on where you live, the experience of the therapist, and the type of setting can all play a factor in how much counselling costs. Bots could help marriages, at scale, at a much lower price point and be more accurate in their advice by leveraging the data they receive from their frequent interactions” (Simmonds 2016).


Fitness Bot

These bots can offer tips and tricks on how to stay healthy and use affiliate links to send people to fitness products that have affiliate links associated with them. They can even run an interactive training session with you, inviting you to do the next exercise, if you have completed the 50 press-ups. Layer in additional data from fitness apps and you will probably see a nation becoming fitter as they compete with their own previous performance and simultaneously form relationships with their fitness bots.


Oprah Bot

If you need life advice – why not get ‘personal advice’ from a high profile personality brand with whom many millions already have a positive relationship. This branded app in the form of a bot could be scaled up and yet still give personalised answers from your favourite celebrity, in the strictest of confidence. Data privacy is, of course critical with all of these bots.


Borris Bot

Could you imagine it? Britain’s new Minister for Foreign Affairs advising the nation after pulling it out of Europe?


Golf Bot

Wouldn’t we all like one of these? Interestingly, I’m told many American Business Masters Programmes have an optional half module called ‘golf’ – which includes golf etiquette, golf tips and networking skills.


Mechanic Bot

for information on your car, how to maintain it, service it, and maybe, a premium priced bot for how to fix it.


Election Bot

The New York Times Election Bot gives you live results and updates/alerts.  You can also submit questions to the newsroom directly. There are more and more bots piling into this marketplace such as Purple  which is one of many election bots.


Research Bot

Wondering what millennials are thinking about the next election? Ross Simmonds et al (2016) says: ‘There are bots that you can pay to do the research for you. While I haven’t come across any bots that are doing this today, it would make a lot of sense for Q&A bots to offer this type of service.

Bots like disordatbot are already asking people simple ‘this or that’ questions. Event planners can decide which music act to book for a particular event. Rather than using an expensive research firm or inaccurate focus group, ‘you can run a research campaign with disordatbot and ask users in your city whether they prefer Radiohead or Nickelback.’ (Simmonds 2016)

What separates disordat from a simple ‘either-or’ bot is that disordat bot questions also have an option to get for more information. If the user taps “Huh?” In response to these questions, the bot sends a link that gives more information.

 didordat bot

DisorDat bot helps customers make decisions Image Credit: disordatbot


Sales Bots (retail sales bots)

These will encourage customers to ask them (the bots) questions such as ‘do you have any Adidas football boots? The bot will immediately answer ‘Yes’ here are our most popular 3 adidas football boots. Was there a particular style you need? And what size would you like?’ The bot then presents the information (e.g. a photo, product sheet, video, a 3D model and perhaps soon, a virtual hovering hologram/bot). The prospect then buys the product similar to buying on a web site, but perhaps, eventually, with voice control options. Meanwhile, it is worth reading Ivan Suvorov’s  (2016) ‘Shopping in messengers article’ to see how four different retailers use chatbots to deliver varying degrees of customer satisfaction.

H&M bot

H&M Bots help customers  Image Credit: H&M


Lead Generation Bots 

Independent knowledge bots (not associated with a particular brand) could be set up, promoted and used to help people get information about any particular area of interest. In return for giving tailored, relevant and useful content/information, the bot asks “Is it ok if I pass this along to someone who can help you with some special offers? The Bot owner gets paid a commission. In fact bot owner can become an affiliate to several suppliers earning commission each time the bot affiliate passes prospect information to a particular company.

Ross Simmonds et al (2016) suggest that ‘Slack Bots that don’t have a Q&A focus could also leverage this model. If you’ve built a bot that offers valuable content on a regular basis to a niche audience, organizations who want to connect or sell to that audience might have an interest in conducting research campaigns via chat.’


Sales Assistant Bots

Given that sales people spend too much time filling in reports, or researching customers,and arguably, too little time talking with customers, chatbots could do the form filling and also equip sales people with a cheat sheet with some nice ice-breakers tailored to the buyer they are going to meet along with any key information or dialogue the company has had with them.

So there you have an introduction to bots covering:  What are Bots? What are Chatbots, Slackbots, Good Looking AI bots?; and Types of Bots.


Part 2 explores artificially intelligent marketing bot; How do you create smart AI driven bots? The key to successful bots; taking humans out of the loop by 2020? 


Learn Digital Marketing Strategy with PR Smith:

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8-9th March - Learn more

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Or as part the Marketing Institute’s Executive Diploma in Strategic Digital Marketing:

Starting 22nd January – Learn more


See also: 

SOSTAC® Certified Planner Portal   

SOSTAC® Guide to Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan

SOSTAC® is a registered trade mark of PR Smith. For more information on SOSTAC® Planning & becoming a SOSTAC® Certified Planner visit .



PR Smith trains and advises a range of blue chips as well as smaller innovative businesses through bodies such as the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the UK Government's Growth Accelerator Programme. Paul’s eMarketing eXcellence book is a recommended text and his new SOSTAC® Guide To Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan is very popular. His four other books are translated into seven languages. Paul's SOSTAC® Marketing Planning System is used by organisations around the world and has prompted Paul to set up SOSTAC® Registered Consultants and Learning Centres. Paul's NFP social media driven edutainment programme, The Great Sportsmanship Programme, is designed to inspire a new generation of global citizens through true two minute stories.

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Bachman, R. (2016) The limits of A.I. and chatbots: How not to fail like Microsoft VB Live, 22 June
Campbell, R. (2016) Introducing DisOrDatBot , Readme.mic, 18 April
Cerny, B (2016) Why chatbots can’t do much more than order you an Uber…yet 22 June, venture Beat
Gartner Predicts (2011), Customer 360 Summit, Los Angeles, March 30 – April 1
McKitterick, W (2016) Messaging apps are now bigger than social networks, Business Insider,15 June
Meeker, M. (2016) 2016 Internet Trends Report, KPCB, 1 June
Rogers, S (2016) Shopify acquires Kit, the artificially intelligent marketing bot, Venture Beat 13 April
Simmonds, R et al (2016) How will bots make money? Here are 7 business models, Venture Beat, 9 June
Smith, PR & Chaffey, D. (2005) Emarketing Excellence, 2nd ed. Butterworth Heinnemann (bot wars)
Smith, PR (2016) SOSTAC® Guide To Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan V2,
Suvorov, I (2016) Shopping in messengers, Chatbots Magazine, May.

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Donate a shoebox this Christmas!

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Thursday 23 November 2017

christmas shoebox appeal

This year again we're supporting Inner City Helping Homeless with their shoebox appeal, and we need your help!

Inner City Helping Homeless - a Dublin volunteer organisation - is appealing for Irish people to put together Christmas shoeboxes for the homeless in Dublin city centre. 

If you'd like to donate, please fill a shoebox and cover it with Christmas paper. Please wrap the box and its lid separately as each box will be checked to make sure all items inside are safe to distribute. It is a great help if you can label the box for who it is intended for eg. Male adult, boy aged 5-8, female adult etc.

Drop the shoebox in the Marketing Institute office in South County Business Park, Leopardstown and we will deliver it to ICHH.


What can I include in my shoebox?

Tooth brush – Tooth Paste
Shampoo – Shower Gel
Roll On Deodorant
Hand Lotion
Wet Wipes – Tissues
Underwear – Socks (white socks for men)
Hat – Scarf – Gloves
Small Torch
Chocolate – Crisps – Sweets
Brush / comb

What do I need to avoid?

Mouth wash
Hand Sanitizer – Hand Gel
Perfume – After Shave
Aerosol Deodorants – Aerosol cans of any type (hair spray – body spray)
Razors / Razor Blades

A little note or Christmas card is always appreciated and valued! 

The boxes will be distributed at the Fill A Tram event on the 14th December. It is an amazing day and great fun and atmosphere and Inner City Helping Homeless will be providing free breakfast, dinner and hair cuts to all of their homeless neighbours.


We thank you in advance for your help!


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Black Friday and pre-Christmas shopping plans

Posted By MediaCom, Thursday 23 November 2017

A third of Irish consumers plan to make Black Friday purchases in 2017

We’ve seen headlines of Black Friday potentially waning in other markets around the world. But Black Friday has quickly gathered momentum in Ireland and is having a powerful impact on savvy Christmas shoppers and dramatically changing shopping patterns in the festive season. 

With this in mind, media agency MediaCom conducted a survey to gauge consumers’ attitudes about Black Friday and broader Christmas 2017 spending plans.  



#1 Black Friday Plans: 33% of Irish adults plan to make a Black Friday purchase in 2017. This is up from the 24% who made a purchase in 2016. It appeals most to young females.

#2 Sheer Delight: Almost 71% of those who made a Black Friday 2015 purchase were delighted with what they bought.

#3 Not everyone buys into it: Just under a quarter of Irish shoppers agree Black Friday is an important date in the shopping calendar. But 54% say it’s not important.

#4 Most Irish people don’t budget: Just 27% consumers have a set budget planned for Christmas 2017 – a 5 percentage point decrease on 2016

#5 Average gift spend has reduced: €456 is the average spend on Christmas gifts, down from €493 in 2016

#6 High street wins out, but online is growing: On average, over a third of Christmas shopping is now done online. However, 64% is done in traditional bricks and mortar retail shops.

#7 Are we becoming thoughtless gifters? 66% of us have given cash at Christmas, 45% have re-gifted a present and 30% of 16-34s have sold an unwanted Christmas present online


A third of irish consumers plan to make black friday purchases

1 in 3 (33%) plan to make a purchase during Black Friday this year, skewing towards females and 16-34s.

Just under a quarter (24%) of Irish adults made a Black Friday purchase in 2016, up from 21% in 2015.


An important date on the calendar

23% of Irish people consider Black Friday an important day on the shopping calendar.

Consumers in Connacht / Ulster and Leinster (excl. Dublin) are most likely to find it important at 26% and 29% respectively. In 2016 we saw the importance of Black Friday skewed towards females, but it is now an even gender split.


Buyer’s remorse or rejoice?

One of the biggest criticisms of Black Friday, and indeed sales more broadly, is that consumers are often left feeling duped into buying something they wouldn’t ordinarily have bought. However, our survey results show that is isn’t the case for Irish consumers. Of the 24% of Irish consumers who made a purchase on Black Friday, 71% agreed they were delighted with what they bought, with only 5% claiming to be disappointed. However, 47% of those who bought something during a Black Friday promotion felt they would have made those purchases anyway without the discounts, meaning not all retailers necessarily need to jump on to the trend. 68% of Irish adults feel the event is a gimmick.  


Men more likely to be last minute festive shoppers

So the famous expression goes. The results of our survey shows Black Friday has a positive impact on Christmas shopping costs, with 33% of those who purchased something on Black Friday agreeing that the day makes it easier to afford particular gifts before Christmas. Our survey also found that the majority of shoppers (56%) begin buying gifts at least 2-3 months before Christmas, with women more likely than men to start shopping early. We also found that women are significantly more organised than men when purchasing Christmas gifts; with 31% leaving shopping until December compared to almost two thirds (40%) of men. Men are also more likely to leave Christmas shopping until the last minute rush, with 13% starting their shopping the week before Christmas compared to 5% of females.


Christmas budgets

Less than 1/3 (27%) of Irish consumers have a set budget for Christmas 2017 – a fact likely to ring happily in the ears of retailers across the country. In 2016, 32% of Irish consumers had set a budget. In 2017, women are more likely to budget (31% v 22% of men) and 35-54s (29%) and 55+ (27%) are also more likely than younger consumers.


€493 is the average spend on christmas presents, less than in 2016

On average, people are planning to spend less on gifts than in 2016 (€456 v €493 in 2016). Just under half (49%) plan to spend on home furnishings with an average planned expenditure of €142 compared to €129 in 2016.


Traditional retail stores win out, but over a third of christmas shopping is done online

61% of consumers’ Christmas shopping is done in traditional bricks and mortar stores, down slightly on 2016 (64%).

20% is done via international or internet-only retailer (Asos, Littlewoods, Amazon etc) (vs 19% in 2016), 15% on a store’s website (no change on 2016) and 4% on an app (+2pp on 2016). While still small, the fact that the percentage of spend on apps has doubled and is an important watch-out for ecommerce brands.  


Christmas gifting habits

8 in 10 Irish people have given a voucher as a Christmas present and two thirds have given cash (rising to 80% of 55+).

3% of 16-34s have sold an unwanted Christmas present online, compared to an average of 19%. 45% of Irish people have regifted a Christmas present, highest amongst women aged 35-54 (50%).

christmas gift habits


Sharing christmas wishes dominated by women

Sending Christmas messages or posting cards is dominated by women. 80% of Irish adults have posted a Christmas card, highest for 55+. Young women are most likely to have posted on social media about gifts they’ve received #boydonegood. In total, 20% of Irish adults have done this, but this rises to 22% of females and 30% of 16-34s.



Speaking about the survey, Ian McGrath, Managing Director of MediaCom Ireland, commented:

“I don’t believe Black Friday will reach the same heights in Ireland as it did in other markets. The reason for this is that the retailers and brands have extended the discounting period pre-Christmas now to maximise volume in this key selling period”


Survey background

This MediaCom survey was conducted amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,265 adults across the country nationwide at the end of September 2017. The study was conducted by market research agency, iReach, via their online consumer omnibus survey.


For more information, please contact Ian McGrath at or Vicky Shekleton at

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