Brand marketers and visual merchandisers, take heed: You can tie displays and campaigns into a variety of hobbies that Brits are now pursuing, especially traditional pastimes such as birdwatching, baking, and sewing, according to new research from Mintel.
To find inspiration, one place to look is the television. Programming is playing a major role in sparking interest.
“Television shows such as The Great British Bake Off, The Great Pottery Throw Down, and The Great British Sewing Bee have made the U.K. fall back in love with baking, knitting, and arts and crafts,” says Helen Fricker, senior leisure analyst at Mintel. “We find that consumers in the U.K. are more drawn to leisure activities that don’t involve too much effort or physical activity and traditional pastimes seem to be fulfilling this desire.”
Brits of all ages appear to be longing for a digital detox as 81% agree that it is important to spend time outdoors to get away from mobile phones and the internet. Research reveals Brits are most likely to be found reading a book or a magazine (81%), going on day trips (79%), or baking and cooking (70%) in their spare time.
Research indicates that those aged under 25 are just as likely as those aged 55+ to have taken up knitting and needlework. Two in five (41%) consumers aged 16-24 have knitted or sewn in their lifetime, with the same proportion of those aged 55 and over (40%) having taken up this hobby. Similarly, the same trend can be seen in the ageless art of photography: half (49%) of Brits aged 16-24 and those aged 55+ and over (48%) have taken part in photography, reports Mintel.
Overall, Brits of all ages appear to be longing for a digital detox as 81% agree that it is important to spend time outdoors to get away from mobile phones and the internet. Research bears this out, revealing that Brits are most likely to be found reading a book or a magazine (81%), going on day trips (79%), or baking and cooking (70%) in their spare time.
Another pursuit is birdwatching. Research reveals that 23% of Brits have been birdwatching in their spare time, peaking at 32% of men aged 16-24. London, it appears, is Britain’s birdwatching hotspot. Some 29% of Londoners have reached for the binoculars to birdwatch, in comparison to just 11% of consumers in Wales, according to Mintel.
“Consumers of all ages are taking up hobbies with which their grandparents would have been familiar,” Fricker says. “With such fast paced lives, people are seeking time to relax and unwind far from the madding crowd, and hobbies such as birdwatching provide this escape.”
Desire to escape
Additional research from Mintel highlights the importance of ‘me time.’ Given the choice, nearly half (47%) of British consumers say that they prefer to spend their free time doing solo activities, while 23% prefer spending their spare time with a few people doing small group activities and just 4% favor large group activities like exercise classes and team sports.
However, it seems that a significant minority of consumers have no time to spare at all, with 37% saying they don’t have enough free time to pursue their interests and hobbies.
“As UK consumers feel that they don’t have enough free time to pursue their hobbies and interests,” Fricker says. “It makes sense for them to seek the most effective ways to recharge their batteries. Overall, there seems to be a general desire to escape from hectic lifestyles, long working hours and always-connected smartphones by seeking the intimacy and quiet of a solo retreat.”