Lakeland Trends Report 2019

An introduction
Catherine Nunn – CEO – Lakeland

We’re a nation of passionate – and increasingly eco-conscious – cooks, bakers and cleaners according to our 2019 Lakeland Trends Report. Our research explores what makes the nation tick when it comes to their homes, from the best-loved cooking gadgets to what’s on the menu this Christmas.

Our survey polled 3000 people to discover the impact that cooking, baking and cleaning has on their lives, and along with our own customer insight, this report provides an in-depth look at the state of the nation’s homes.

We’ve examined how social media sensations like Mrs Hinch® change how we clean, the rise in popularity of healthy eating, the ‘Blue Planet effect’ that’s seeing more and more of us searching for alternatives to plastic, and much more.

It’s always fascinating to learn more about what makes us tick and our report explores the hot topics of 2019 as well as taking a peek at what 2020 has in store for us all.

The Hinch effect
Who would have guessed that the social media sensation of 2019 was neither a music sensation nor a Hollywood actor, but a 29-year-old woman with a passion for cleaning her oven?

Sophie Hinchcliffe – or Mrs Hinch® to her 2.9 million followers on Instagram – has managed to create a buzz around household chores, becoming a publishing phenomenon in the process. Her book ‘Hinch Yourself Happy’ stayed in the bestseller charts for 25 weeks, beating even Michelle Obama and selling 378,000 copies.

Any product she endorses, from toilet discs to bicarbonate of soda, usually enjoys the sort of sales uplift not seen since the days of the ‘Delia Effect’.

In 2019, Lakeland saw a particular surge in sales of Oven Mate cleaning products; Bona spray mops, which clean as well as protect wooden floors; and the Aircraft Powerglide, which cleans and buffs any hard floor without the need for a mucky mop.

The groundwork for the Mrs Hinch® phenomenon was laid by another tidying superstar: Marie Kondo, the Japanese author and organising consultant. The Netflix series, ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’, achieved a cult-like audience when it was released in January 2019 and charity shops reported an influx of donations as people decluttered their homes.

Sales of kitchen organisers at Lakeland certainly sparked joy, with the Expandable Shelf Organiser up by 53%, and the Chrome-Plated Corner Plate Rack up by a tidy 63%.

In total, nearly a quarter (23%) of people said they now made a conscious effort to tidy or clean on a more regular basis this year as a result of these two influencers, with young people aged 18 to 24 twice as likely as that to say they had caught the decluttering and scrubbing bug.

But though 46% of Gen Z said they had upped their cleaning regime, it’s worth pointing out that 53% of the population had not heard of either Mrs Hinch® or Marie Kondo. Considering that their advice, hints and tips have already attracted incredibly large and loyal followings, it just goes to show that their influence could well extend even further in 2020 and beyond.

Products that shaped 2019

What’s hot?

+239% Wellness
Health-conscious customers are replacing sugary, fizzy drinks with alternatives like kombucha, a fermented tea that is easy to make at home. Products to help you cook vegan and vegetarian foods are also on the rise.

+63% Lékué Microwave Grill
Toasties, sausages and salmon suppers… microwave grilling has never been so quick and easy, and customers are loving it.

+164% Clothes Steamers
No iron, no board, no fuss… the powerful handheld Fridja has converted ironing-haters to the joys of effort-free, crease-free garments.

+159% Sodastream®
The 1970s kids’ favourite has been given a new lease of life thanks to eco-conscious customers looking to ditch plastic bottles.

+51% Ooni Pizza Ovens
Great-tasting, crispy-based and professional-style pizza cooked up in your back garden all year round what’s not to love?!

What’s not?

-10% Jam Making
Was it the cold snap in May, or are jam makers just too short of time? Sales of kit to make jam from scratch fell 10%, though sales of electric jam makers did jump 52%, suggesting people still like making jam, just not the faff involved.

-31% Spiralising
Is the spiralising craze, which saw millions turn their courgettes into courgetti and their mooli into noodles, finally coming to an end? It looks like it… Next up: Sheeting.

Transform your courgettes, potatoes, beetroot and much more into flat sheets of pretend pasta to reinvent your favourite dishes.

-53% Shopping Trolley Bags
Hailed as a brilliant innovation when first launched, these bags allow you to move your shopping straight from your supermarket trolley to the boot of your car. Maybe by now most consumers have enough bags for life to last, well, a lifetime

Who’s Cooking?
Sitting down together for Christmas dinner as a family, as 63% of us do, is what makes it the most wonderful time of the year.

But who does the cooking?

Bringing the year’s biggest meal to the table is more often than not a group effort, with 17% of people saying the whole family pitched in to help with the preparation and cooking. But cooking the turkey or roasting the goose is more of a go-it-alone job in the majority of households, with 55% of women taking charge, and 28% of men.

Will we eat turkey?
There was one unstoppable food trend of 2019: veganism. We saw everything from jackfruit tacos and seitan Wellingtons in the supermarkets to Greggs and KFC embracing mock meats on the high street. Even though there are a modest 600,000 vegans in the UK – less than 1% of the population – the rise of flexitarians, and carnivores trying to cut back on meat, has meant sales of vegan food have surged this year.

But when it comes to Christmas dinner, it would appear that long-held traditions hold sway. A mere 0.9% of people will be cooking an entirely vegan festive meal. A further 9% say they will be cooking a vegetarian meal, despite 16% of people saying they had a vegan or veggie in their family. On December 25th, a traditional roast is what the great majority of families say they will opt for.

However, there is a rapidly emerging trend: serving up two or even three main courses. British consumers are becoming ever more complex and demanding. This year, nearly a quarter (22%) of home cooks will be offering up a range of main courses – often with at least two meats and a vegetarian or vegan dish.

What games will we play this year?

  • 29% Monopoly
  • 25% Card games
  • 23% General knowledge/ quiz games
  • 19% e.g. Xbox, Nintendo etc.
  • 18% Trivial Pursuit
  • 18% Scrabble
  • 17% Charades
  • 10% Pictionary
  • 9% Dominoes
  • 6% FIFA
  • 5% Minecraft
  • 4% Fortnite

Monopoly’s Monopoly
Christmas is a time to switch off – metaphorically and literally – which may explain why the traditional board game still holds sway in so many families during the festive period. When asked what games people were likely to play over Christmas, Monopoly, card games and quizzes beat – by a long distance – electronic games such as Fortnite, Fifa or Minecraft.

Fascinatingly, it is the youngsters who are much more likely to want to play Monopoly, a game now over 80 years old, with nearly half (47%) of those aged 18 to 24 saying they will play the property game over Christmas, compared with less than an eighth (12%) of those over the age of 65.

Generation Z are also much more likely to play card games, Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble than their parents or uncles and aunts. The same generation that have discovered the joy of vinyl records, manual typewriters and film cameras are also falling in love with old-fashioned entertainment. Maybe not every day of the week, but certainly at Christmas.

The rise of the runner
The table runner – a piece of cloth that runs along the length of a table – has become a decorating staple in the last 5 years. Cheaper and less bulky than a tablecloth, it allows people to add a splash of colour or texture to a table setting without too much fuss.

Meet the Buyers
These days, it’s not just about the food you serve on Christmas Day – the table setting itself has become as much of a focal point. We sat down with two of our Buyers, Lyndsey Baker and Carly Bullock, to find out more.

“Traditional colours are always key at Christmas,“ says Seasonal Buyer, Lyndsey, “but the table is one area where people may be a little braver, experimenting with bolder colours.” “We’re really excited this year,” adds Carly, the Buyer for our Casual Dining range, “because we have everything you need to set your perfect table and entertain your guests.”

Carly feels that Lakeland’s range lends itself to a mix and match approach. “Customers will be able to recreate the entire look if they wish,” she explains, “as we have everything from cutlery and napkins to port sippers and stay-cool platters, or they can cherry- pick key pieces like our stunning gold tree glasses. Our exclusive patterned ceramics look fab together, and complement the bauble crackers that have been created by our talented in-house design team.”

When it comes to the after-dinner fun and games, it’s not just crackers that are on the menu these days. “We all spend time choosing the perfect crackers,” says Lyndsey, “but now, table presents and fun and games have become part of that tradition too. Mince Spies, our hilarious game of dinner-party stealth, is a definite favourite. We bring it back year after year with a new set of secret missions, and it gets more and more popular!”

Lyndsey has one final time-saving tip: “With so much to prepare, items like pre-folded napkins are the perfect pick-up”, while Carly suggests looking to social media for inspiration. “It’s amazing what our most creative customers come up with!”

The multi-look table
We’re not just serving up food on our dinner tables any more, especially at Christmas – we’re using them as stage sets to serve up elaborate theatre, propped with everything from decorative napkins and glass charms to colourful runners and all manner of special finishing touches to show off our creativity and hospitality.

Placement cards, napkins, confetti, wine glass charms, table runners, mats, trees, Christmas crackers, candles and lights – there has never been so much kit available to pimp your Christmas table. It’s the one time of the year when even diffident decorators might ditch white plates and plain tablecloths for a splash of colour and a scattering of pine cones.

Nearly half (47%) of people say they invest in a different table theme or colour each festive season, with people below the age of 25 particularly likely to do so – 62% of those people said they did this, spending typically less than £30. The reason? It’s very little to do with impressing strangers on Instagram, despite the huge popularity of the #tablescape and #tablesetting hashtags on this platform. A mere 5% say they decorate a table primarily for their social media followers (though this does increase to 12% for those under the age of 24). Maybe that’s not surprising: people say they are far more likely to post pictures of a restaurant meal, social gatherings or a home-made bake to social media than a picture of a table beautifully set for entertaining.

A few more (15%) admit that keeping up with the Joneses and impressing their guests is a primary motive. The great majority (64%), however, say it’s mostly because they enjoy decorating their home and the Christmas table is a great opportunity to do so.

Amazingly, of those that say they invest in a new table theme each year, two thirds (65%) say they will have at least two different table looks during the festive season. A small, hardcore group (4%) – especially among the youngest group of adults – will try to change up their table four or more times over the Christmas period. You are extremely unlikely to redecorate your tree between Christmas Eve and New Year, but laying a different table possibly isn’t so outlandish.

The Christmas Tree
Christmas without a tree? It’s almost unthinkable. It’s the one festive item that people are most likely to photograph and post on social media, with four in ten people saying they will do this. That compares with only one in ten posting pictures of their Christmas meal and even fewer posting #Christmastable pics.

But how do we decorate our trees? The great majority of us (76%) buy a few new decorations every year, with a small number (4%) going crazy and splashing out on an entirely new set of baubles, lights and tinsel.

However, we all have a few old tree decorations that we cherish, with more than a quarter (26%) of us saying that we’ve kept hold of our favourite decoration for more than 25 years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the percentage is higher among older consumers, with 43% of those aged 65 or older saying their favourite bauble is more than a quarter-century old.

When it comes to lights, do you favour old school white or jazzy colours? The nation is divided – exactly the same proportion (38%) go for white lights as go for multicoloured. But there is a clear split between the sexes: men are far more likely to want all the colours of the rainbow, while women prefer the simplicity of plain white.

Raise your glass
Saturday night in is the new Saturday night out, but it’s not just about pouring plain G&T over ice and a slice. It seems we can’t resist making our spirits more exciting, adding imaginative ingredients to enhance their flavour and bring a little theatre when entertaining.

Previous years’ party pieces were shimmery and fizzy, but we’re now seeing a move towards a more sophisticated sip. Think prohibition era-inspired cocktails, mocktails that drivers will actually thank you for, and grown-up, authentic drinks that wouldn’t be seen dead sporting a paper parasol.

If the popularity of Lakeland’s syrups, botanicals and mixers for gin are anything to go by, it looks like gin is still firmly on the home bar menu. However, rum and whisky-based drinks are all gaining momentum, with additions such as old-fashioned bitters adding new flavour dimensions, and modern cocktail mixers (2-ingredient espresso Martini sound good?) expected to lift our spirits in the months to come.

For every authentic whisky sour, there’s a colourful cocktail (it’s all about balance!), but garish drinks additions have stood aside to make way for all-natural alternatives – lotus root slices garnish glasses in style, and butterfly pea changes the colour of your drink without an E-number in sight. That’s got to be worth raising a glass to!

Outdoor lights: Yay or nay

  • 47% wouldn’t dream of having any.
  • 43% take a considered approach and use lights to highlight certain parts of the garden/front door.
  • 10% cover the house/garden in as many as possible – the brighter the better.

Gadgets – what’s loved, what’s not
Some kitchen gadgets have changed the world – or at least your Monday night dinner. Humans were eating mashed potato for at least 150 years before the masher was invented.

Imagine how dark those days were! And producing a crisp, evenly toasted piece of toast before a Scotsman came up with an electric toaster in 1893 was a fraught, finger-burning experience.

But which pieces of kitchen technology do we love and cherish, and which do we leave languishing at the back of the cupboard? It would seem our favourite gadgets are genuine labour-saving devices that can produce meals – or a cup of tea or coffee – quicker, more efficiently and more deliciously than if they didn’t exist. The microwave is a genuine game changer in many households, so too the slow cooker.

Our least favourite? They are not the novelty gizmos, the fondue sets or pineapple corers. No, they include potato mashers, corkscrews and tin openers. Invaluable gadgets, certainly, but they also require a bit of elbow grease and are sometimes fiddly to wash up.

Gadgets we love

  1. Microwave
  2. Coffee Machine
  3. Slow Cooker
  4. Kettle

The one’s we don’t

  1. Peeler
  2. Tin Opener
  3. Masher
  4. Corkscrew

The mighty Masha
Anyone who finds mashing potatoes a chore has clearly never come across Masha. At the push of a button, this electric masher gives you smooth, lump-free spuds in seconds, and is effortless to clean.

Love your clothes for longer
We all want to look good with a clear conscience, and everyone can do their little bit to make a difference. Wendy Miranda, Lakeland’s Customer Ambassador, shares her top product tips to make your fashion choices last longer.

2019 saw the launch of Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign, and with news articles and television programmes also highlighting the issues surrounding throwaway fashion, the fashion industry’s environmental impact became a hot topic. People sat up and paid attention, and the movement to do something about it is set to continue into 2020 and beyond.

Sustainable fashion is not just about buying a new top from a brand that produces clothes ethically. To be truly sustainable, we need to look at the bigger picture – looking past wear-once-and-throw-away garments and instead investing in quality clothing we can wear over and over again – and that means taking good care of the clothes we buy to keep them looking lovely for longer.

  1. “Far more gentle than the rough and tumble of a conventional dryer, our Dry:Soon Pod uses hot air to quickly dry garments without shrinking, fading or damaging their fibres, considerably extending the life of your laundry.”
  2. “Our Dry Cleaner’s Secret cleaning kit saves on costly trips to a professional. With the help of a tumble dryer it gently reduces stains, odours and wrinkles without any harsh chemicals – and saves a small fortune, too.”
  3. “Before you resign that much-loved dress to a recycling bank, why not give it another chance? The Gleener works wonders at bringing clothes back to life – it’ll even take fuzz and bobbles off Merino sweaters without damaging them. Just brilliant.”
  4. “You spend good money on nice underwear, so it pays to give it a little TLC. Our Extra Care Wash Bags prevent snags and stop delicates getting tangled with everything else in the machine.”
  5. “A natural alternative to washing detergents, Ecozone Soap Nuts are great for day-to-day washes, suitable for delicate fabrics, kind to sensitive skin, and keep colours bright. The best bit? This natural nut ends its life in the compost bin, not as microparticles in our oceans.”
  6. “Many a sweater comes to an end before its time after being lovingly packed away for winter, only to re-emerge covered in tiny holes. We see the sales on moth products increase year-on-year, indicating that this issue is not going away. Our Moth Stop Range is scientifically proven to eradicate the problem and keep clothes-chomping pests at bay.”
  7. “As well as using a lower temperature, there’s another way to wash responsibly: pop clothes into a mesh Guppyfriend Washing Bag and it’ll catch even the tiniest man-made fibres and microplastics so they aren’t released into our waste water systems.”

The nation still cooks from scratch
The rise of Deliveroo, Just Eat, ready meals and the microwave might make you think cooking from scratch is a dying art. Not so – over half of us cook from scratch at least five days a week, while 92% cook from scratch at least once a week.

  • Every day: 25%
  • 5-6 days a week: 27%
  • 3-4 days a week: 26%
  • 1-2 days a week: 14%

The blue planet effect
It started at the end of 2017, with the broadcast of the BBC’s Blue Planet II, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, but it became an unstoppable movement throughout 2018 and 2019: eco-consumerism. Fast food outlets scrapped plastic straws, the Government launched a consultation on a plastic tax, and more and more consumers pledged to reduce their food waste and demanded supermarkets cut back on packaging.

The great majority of consumers (61%) say they now consciously try to shop at an outlet that is cutting back on single-use plastics.

At Lakeland, products that help customers cut back on packaging and reduce food waste flew off the shelves in 2019. These included Carrinet Veggio Reusable Fruit and Veg Bags, which allow supermarket shoppers to pick loose apples, carrots or pears and place them into their own breathable, washable bags – rather than those flimsy plastic ones. They can then take the bags to the till to be weighed. Sales of these jumped 128% during the year.

Another hit was Stayfresh Longer Bags, with sales jumping 63%. Yes, these are made from plastic, but they contain a natural Japanese stone powder suspended in the polythene film, which absorbs the ageing ethylene gases that most fruit and veg release, allowing broccoli, for instance, to last as long as 46 days.

Nearly eight in ten people (79%) said they actively recycled, while nearly half (45%) said they had started using a refillable water bottle. More than a third (39%) said they try to use alternatives to plastic where possible, with an even greater proportion of those over the age of 64 (49%) agreeing with this.

People are finding some other eco-measures trickier to adopt on a daily basis. One in five now use a reusable coffee cup when out and about, while a smaller number (12%) said they’ve ditched cling film in favour of eco-friendlier versions. Nonetheless, for those who have made the switch, the alternatives have proved a hit. Reusable Silicone Stretch Pods, which can cover the surface of a cut avocado, tomato or onion have done well, while sales of Bee’s Wrap, a reusable, wipe-clean cloth, have leapt by an astonishing 544%.

Love food, hate waste
Whilst 46% of the 2.2 million tonnes of plastic put on the market in 2017 was recycled, only 20% of the 7 million tonnes of food waste was composted or treated. Food waste is as big a contributor to environmental issues as plastic, and we’re working hard to help our customers minimise their food waste at home, with handy hints and tips online and in our catalogues.

Lakeland’s Stayfresh Longer Bags keep fruit and veg fresher for longer than if they were stored in their original packaging, and so far in 2019, we’ve sold enough bags to extend the life of over 13.5 million carrots by at least 30 days!

Products to look out for in 2020

Sushi Maker
We’re seeing continuous growth in people recreating global flavours in the comfort of their own kitchen, and with the 2020 Olympics hosted by Tokyo, Japanese food will be a big trend. This World of Flavours Sushi Maker makes it so easy to create sushi from scratch, and the deliciously inspiring Sushi Made Simple cookbook will make the perfect accompaniment

Wilton’s Botanical Range
As eco and vegan trends continue to rise, people want to make conscientious choices with cleaning products too. Wilton’s Botanical Range, which includes a laundry liquid, fabric softener, washing-up liquid and kitchen and bathroom cleaners, is made with vegan-friendly, plant-based, biodegradable formulas, and sold in recyclable bottles made from recycled plastic.

Bathroom WipeOut 365 Anti-Bac Liquid Guard
Fighting the invisible enemy of germs and bacteria around the home can be a constant battle, and Bathroom WipeOut 365 Anti-Bac Liquid Guard is a straightforward, reassuring way to tackle this problem. Forming an invisible antimicrobial barrier on hard surfaces like taps, door handles and toilets, it continues to kill 99.9% of bacteria for up to 12 months.

Cup4Cup Flours
The ‘free from’ market is rapidly growing, with people seeking out alternatives to gluten that don’t compromise on taste or quality. Cup4Cup Flours (Wholesome and Multipurpose) will be a real game changer for many gluten-intolerant bakers, as they can be used as exact substitutes for regular flour, and have no difference in taste

Induction Hob Mesh
Induction hobs are becoming increasingly popular, but keeping the super-shiny glass top looking its best can be a challenge. This clever silicone-coated mesh liner protects your precious induction hob from accidental scratches, marks and scuffs caused by over- enthusiastic stirring or wok-shaking while maintaining that all-essential conductivity during cooking.

FoodSaver® Handheld Vacuum Sealer
Designed to help reduce food waste, this dinky rechargeable gadget allows quick and easy vacuum sealing of leftovers, or anything you want to preserve, for longer. With its tiny footprint, it’s just as effective as larger, space-hungry vacuum sealers but takes up far less worktop space, and is also fully portable for use in caravans and motorhomes.

*Survey carried out by Dynata, September 2019
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