The Lunar New Year is a lucrative period for many businesses as shoppers spend enormous amounts on gifts for their loved ones. However, the rising cost of living and growing economic uncertainty will make consumers more mindful of their spending. Scroll through this guide to explore the top trends influencing the gifting market.
The lucrative Lunar New Year gifting sector
The ongoing economic crisis will impact consumer spending, leading them to prioritize meaningful gifts that will bring joy through the festive period. Many shoppers will adopt a frugal mindset and make most of their purchases online.
Millennials will push for authenticity, innovation, and sustainability, and seek products with minimal waste. Premium gifts will also be in demand owing to the lipstick effect, as long as they have added perks and provide value for money. Additionally, the self-care and wellness market will expand, and demand for products that offer salon-quality services at home will rise.
For more information, read this buyer’s guide to learn about consumer buying trends and prepare for holiday sales.
6 exciting Lunar New Year gift ideas
1. Extravagant gifting: affordable delights
As people reunite with their families and resume celebrations after a brief break, they look for unique and exciting gifts to give their loved ones. A CBN survey found that 90% of Chinese consumers wish to spend the holidays with their families, and these shoppers will gravitate toward affordable luxuries to impress their relatives.
Many consumers are facing financial difficulties due to the economic crisis and will seek a single luxury gift that stands out rather than multiple items. They will pay a higher price for items with added value and a touch of luxury.
Retailers can make the gifting experience memorable by offering customization services to help add personal touches and make the gesture special. Some brands embrace personalization by allowing customers to emboss initials on their products.
A popular gifting item among women is premium skincare made of organic and luxurious ingredients such as gold-infused options. Luxury food hampers and high-quality, affordable perfumes make excellent holiday gifts.
2. Embracing self-care and self-love
While the Lunar New Year is a joyous occasion, it can also be stressful for many, triggering stress and anxiety. Gifts centered on wellness, self-care, relaxation, and rejuvenation will appeal to consumers invested in care culture.
Wellness is a lucrative gifting segment, especially during the holidays, as people look for ways to relax and unwind. By region, Asia is home to the largest wellness market, valued at US $1.5 trillion, indicating massive demand. Products that incorporate wellness into their design and application will appeal to customers.
Brands can capture the wellness market by investing in products that integrate mindfulness into daily routines, such as stimulating perfumes and oils paired with meditative guides. They can capitalize on aromatherapy trends by focusing on soothing aromatics.
Herbal remedies are also popular among wellness-focused shoppers, so herbal bath oils and sleep-inducing teas like chamomile and peppermint are excellent choices. Curating kits that include candles, facial masks, steamers, and essential oils to create a spa-like experience at home is also a good idea.
3. Salon-like mani-pedis at home
Nail art has always been popular in the Asian market, but many consumers are now looking for nail gadgets and products that provide salon-like services at home. In 2021, the nail industry was valued at RMB 27.5 billion, and it is expected to exceed RMB 39.5 billion by 2027 in China alone.
Many frugal shoppers will be drawn to products that allow them to create elaborate lunar-themed nails within the comfort of their homes rather than in the salon. Go for products that are easy to apply, such as peel-off stickers and quick-drying nails.
Nail kits containing tweezers, stencils, beads, glitters, and nail pens will be popular for creating exciting nail art. To appeal to younger demographics, embrace metallic tones alongside textural finishes such as mirror glazes and holographic textures. Men’s nail sets are another niche market that is expanding, so ensure that the collections are inclusive.
4. Eschewing clichés and incorporating contemporary styles
Many among Gen Z are tired of the old, tried and tested themes and are looking towards innovative gifts with a hint of modernity. Thus, gifts with reclassified Lunar New Year motifs and color schemes that avoid old tropes will be popular.
On Weibo, hashtags like #IDontUnderstandButImShocked were trending, with many agreeing on how tiresome the collections released by international brands were in 2022. With Gen Z becoming more vocal in their demands, brands are expected to abandon traditional themes in favor of edgier and more modern elements in their holiday collections. It is best to break away from the stereotypical red, gold, and animal aesthetics to other classical shades such as blues, greens, pink, and brown.
Investing in collectibles is also wise, as many consumers appreciate exclusivity. Choose products packaged in modern styles such as pop art and metaverse-inspired graphics to appeal to the novelty-seeking youth. It’s a good idea to interact with local artists to avoid cultural blunders, especially when dealing with dark aesthetics like black.
5. Favorites that evoke nostalgia
Products that induce nostalgia and bring back fond childhood memories will appeal to many consumers, particularly during these trying times. This is supported by a Mintel survey conducted in 2021, which found that nostalgic collections performed exceptionally well during troubling periods.
It is wise to focus on nostalgia from the 1990s and 2000s because it will appeal to Millennials and Gen Z. Packaging can also elicit memories, so choose wrapping inspired by foods or cartoons that shoppers grew up with.
Leverage iconic mascots from childhood games, anime, and television series on the product packaging. Beauty brands can take consumers down memory lane by collaborating with well-known snack brands to bring nostalgia through product design and scents.
Consumers seeking novelty will be drawn to playful beauty tools and fun textures in skin care, such as sorbet and jelly. Make sure that the products, while being joyful, are also functional and packaged with reusable or regenerative materials.
6. Reducing waste for a mindful new year
The festive period can be a time when excessive waste is generated, so zero-waste gifts and minimalist and keepsake packaging will appeal to a large section of environmentally conscious consumers. Governments are also taking part in different waste reduction initiatives, with China planning to be carbon-neutral by 2030 and Indonesia pledging to reduce 30% of waste by 2025.
There is a shift in consumers’ consciousness, with many seeking to make wiser choices to reduce waste and preserve the environment. Brands can rise to the occasion by focusing on sustainability while maintaining a posh aesthetic. For instance, a British brand offers light, stoneware perfumes that can double down as art pieces.
Another strategy for appealing to conscious shoppers is allowing them to curate their own gift sets and select what they want. Brands must invest in zero-waste packaging by using biodegradable materials, refillable jars, and other strategies that help preserve the environment.
Redefining the gift-giving experience
Millennials are challenging traditional stereotypes and looking for unique and innovative gift items. Invest in brands that push the boundaries and pay homage to culture by utilizing nostalgic elements.
Despite the economic downturn, consumers will prioritize health and wellness and seek rejuvenating and relaxing items. Beauty products that embed self-care will appeal to many.
Going forward, sustainability will no longer be negotiable, and consumers will gravitate toward brands committed to reducing waste and preserving the environment. Zero-waste packaging will be a significant trend.
The rising inflation will push consumers to be more discerning in their purchases, so ensure that the products have added value with a hint of opulence.