According to a survey released by a self-catering holiday provider, four in five Brits (84%) are planning a 2021 staycation and Mintel forecasts that domestic holiday tourism sales will reach a 10-year high of £7.9bn this year. So, for many, summer 2021 will be the summer that was spent in the UK, either enjoying a series of day trips or holidaying without straying into overseas territory, largely due to the travel restrictions associated with the pandemic and a genuine fear of coming into contact with the virus.

Shopping for a staycation

Retailers Morrisons and Marks & Spencer are clearly targeting the domestic market (Morrisons with a staycation ‘click and collect’ offering and Marks & Spencer providing a feast of Greek, Italian and Spanish inspired recipes), while Nisa has even set up shop in 130 holiday parks. Clearly then, the ‘staycation’ trend signals the prospect for the independent sector to capitalise on enhanced sales.

Families on day trips will frequently stop off at a local shop to buy picnic / lunch / snack supplies and given the cost savings represented by a holiday without air fares, will be prepared to purchase away from home, exploring alternative shopping environments – and more importantly – new taste sensations.

Taking the stress out of the prep

Those choosing to take a self-catering UK-based break will be seeking meal solutions that offer a great at-home dining experience, but without too much preparation and stress. Holiday makers will be keen to not spend their precious leisure time in the kitchen, however, they still want to sit down to appreciate delicious, restaurant style cuisine, often replicating the traditional menus enjoyed whilst abroad.

There will of course be some who choose to simply stay at home and not venture too far afield, preferring to vacation in the safety of their own garden or, possibly, using the time to undertake home improvement projects. This group of consumers is likely to spend money on trialling indulgent eating opportunities – to encourage a sense of ‘holiday’ adventure and a definite move away from the traditional routine.

The independent retailer boom

In addition to all of the above, consumer buying trends continue to point to the fact that provenance and artisanal food – created drawing on specialist skills and expertise – remain a key consideration for consumers, placing farm shops and delicatessens in a strong position.

Last year independent retailers thrived as they evolved to become the saviours of the pandemic, providing essential food supplies. 2021 offers yet another excellent opportunity to drive sales and assert the role of these businesses as not only pillars of the local community but increasingly the shopping destination of choice.