Gimme More Chocolate!

By Emily Nora | Market Research Analyst | February 27, 2019

Although the holidays have officially come to a close, I find myself thinking back on this season’s food-related gifts. From homemade cookies to intricate baskets, food gifts are consistently well-received. Unsurprisingly, the festive months of November and December encourage a spike in food-based gift purchases online. In fact, online purchases during the peak holiday season have increased 85% since 2015. Shoppers are turning online for food-gift purchases during the holiday season to take advantage of diverse product assortment and avoid in-store crowds.

As shoppers embarked on their edible gift-buying journey, they frequently searched broad terms such as: “Gift Basket”, “Holiday Gift Basket”, and “Gift Box”, suggesting shoppers in this category are open to ideas and can be more easily influenced. In addition, most food-related gift buyers were visiting sites such as Etsy and Pinterest prior to their buying journey. Since these sites aggregate a wide variety of gift options in one place, shoppers who ultimately purchased edible gifts may not have actually been searching with a specific gift in mind.

Not all shopping journeys were that generic or unintentional. Another group of consumers were using brand and product specific searches before purchasing food-related gifts. This list contains “Godiva Chocolate Gift Box” and “Harry and David Gift Baskets Prime” among other terms. Direct-to-consumer sites such as and were often visited just prior to consumers ultimately purchasing on rival sites, such as Amazon or Walmart, possibly for better pricing or shipping options.

Chocolate is the most popular edible holiday gift and the market leader this past holiday season was Godiva, which accounted for 32% of all chocolate gift sales. Godiva’s brand equity is clearly evident by the fact that 81.3% of time the brand was purchased, consumers considered no alternative brands.  When Godiva purchasers did consider rivals, Lindt and Ghirardelli were most frequently shopped.

Ecommerce has become a true destination for holiday food gifts. As shoppers become more accustomed to purchasing perishable items online, we can expect even greater  innovation during the holidays in the gift space. Both traditional brands, like Godiva, and new entrants to the space can leverage these insights to increase their market share during the holiday season.

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