Mother’s Day 2022: Facts, Figures & Great Ideas

It’s not breaking news that people want to make their mother figures feel loved and appreciated on Mother’s Day.

But, with the outbreak of COVID-19 reshuffling our values, the ways in which consumers choose to show their love has shifted, too, and will likely continue to change.

According to Statista, retail spending in the UK for Mother’s Day gifts was predicted to reach £1.34billion in 2021, a substantial jump from £1.23billion in 2019!

So, (apart from the obvious) what happened? And, how can the confectionery industry make the most of a more indulgent Mother’s Day moving forward?

Consumer behaviours, old and new

In order to make a solid strategy for Mother’s Day 2022 and beyond, it’s helpful to have an understanding of how the trajectory of consumer behaviour has changed since 2019 (the last recorded days of ‘normality’), through 2020, to 2021.

Don’t worry, we’ve done all the digging for you!



In 2019, Mother’s Day fell later in March time than usual, which, for the retail industries, was pretty much the most disruption we were expecting for a while.

Little did we know, eh?

Because of this disruption, the majority of retailers focused on other public events that were running on time, choosing not to promote Mother’s Day past, perhaps, a few flowers and a ‘Happy Mother’s Day!’ sticker dressing the shop window 2 weeks before the big day.

This may have been a significant contributing factor as to why Mother’s Day shopper penetration dropped from 61.7% the year previous, to 59.5%.

What was happening was that 29% of consumers chose to visit and spend quality time with their mothers over investing in gifts and leisure, which resulted in a penetration decrease for both.

This shift in favour makes sense when you know that 73% of people agreed that Mother’s Day had become far too commercial (think big supermarkets, chain shops, mass-produced products).


And it’s not that we just didn’t care enough, 83% of people still considered Mother’s Day to be an important occasion, with men and women putting pretty much the same effort into making their mother figures feel special.

But, still, the UK spent £1.23billion in total, and the main driver for people buying Mother’s Day gifts was low price. This might explain why supermarkets took the win for the most consumer expenditure that year - the most popular being Tesco.

Supermarkets are as huge as they are because they’re incredibly convenient. For occasions like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, and the like, supermarkets tend to offer shoppers a basic level of everything they might need for the event, all in one place, for a decent price. This model tends to persuade shoppers away from the time and effort it takes to shop around for, arguably, better products.



We’ll make it quick.

In 2020, the UK went into national lockdown 2 weeks before Mother’s Day. Feeling like the rug had been completely pulled from under our feet, and infamously underestimating how far away the ground really was, retail penetration declined from 59.5% to 53.7%.

25.4% of consumers spent less on Mother’s Day gifts due to economic uncertainties, and the inability to legally see their mother figures.

However, the percentage of online shoppers grew by 3.6ppts, meaning many home-run/predominantly online businesses found that their business model was about to prove very effective.

Overall, convenience prevailed as the leading driver in the food and drink industries in 2020.


Fast-forward a year, and the main theme for Mother’s Day 2021 swings 180 degrees from ‘convenience’ to ‘indulgence’. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

When we say indulgence, we don’t mean indulgence in jewellery, clothes, or photo frames. Consumers were indulging in novel and exciting flavours in food, confectionery, and alcohol products!

In a GlobalData survey, 56% of UK consumers stated that the deciding factor for their Mother’s Day gifts was how enjoyable and unique the product was.

…That sounds like pretty good news for all of our creative confectionery customers, if you ask us…

Surveys also show that 34% of female consumers in the UK typically choose unusual, new, or trendy flavours when it comes to chocolate.

And, as far as we can tell, the theme of indulgence and novelty isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Mother’s Day 2022 and beyond

So, where does all of that leave us?


What the data shows is that:

  • The vast majority of consumers think Mother’s Day is an important celebration.
  • The UK’s shoppers are more willing to spend on food and confectionery gifts than in recent years.
  • The average consumer has gained a new-found taste for indulging in unusual flavours.

This is all fantastic news for the confectionery industry!

However, the data also presents some challenges to address:

  • It’s about more than just a product
    Something we saw in 2019 was people stepping away from just buying a few materialistic items and leaving it at that. People wanted to visit their mothers, spend time with them, create memories with them - consumers chose experiences.
    After almost 2 years of lockdowns and uncertainty, in 2022, we wouldn’t be surprised to see another spike in the public wanting to create memories with their family members to stand the test of time.


  • Supermarkets
    As ever, confectionery businesses are going to have to contend with the easy promise of supermarkets.
    Yes, we’re all looking more towards creating memories over mindless materialism, but that’s not to say we’re not buying gifts at all - of course, we still want to spoil our mothers!
    And, with Tesco offering cards, chocolates, flowers, alcohol, and all the little things our mums love, all in one place… well, it’s just annoying, isn’t it?


  • New, unique flavours and pairings
    With foreign travel still not even a glimmer on the horizon for a lot of households in the UK, it’s natural that people would look for a different type of escape. An adventure of the senses being the most accessible (and one of the most pleasurable) options - which, for you and us, is brilliant!
    Getting the right flavour pairings to balance in the right way can be a challenge in itself - but a fun one, nonetheless.
    Now, we’re not just going to leave you there, staring into the murky abyss of Mother’s Day. We’ve actually got some creative ideas to help you make the most of the celebration and bring your Mother’s Day gifts into the present.

Do it for the Mums!

Now we’re all up to date with consumer behaviours, wants and needs, let’s have a look at how your business can target them.

  • Flavours, pairings and packaging
    Funnily enough, we’ve already researched the projected flavour trends for 2022, isolated the best picks for spring, paired them with some fantastic chocolates and compiled it all into a nifty article for you. Have a read, take some notes, and let your creative juices flow!


  • Competing with supermarkets
    One way you could win over your local shoppers is with good ol’ fashioned teamwork.
    If there’s a local florist in your area, see if you can strike up a deal between both your businesses that allows both your customers to buy chocolates and sweet treats alongside a bunch of flowers for a great price. If you know someone who’s crafty, or into the business of greeting cards, you could opt for a 3-in-1 package?
    That way, your consumers get the chance to support local businesses, their mothers receive a thoughtful, authentic gift, and you have the opportunity to gain more business!


  • Providing an experience
    You lovely people are where you are because you have a skill and passion for confectionery. Why not share your expertise in a fun chocolate making session?
    If you have the space, this is a brilliant way to get people interested in what you do and, therefore, more likely to come back again.
    Mums can enjoy a daytime session hand-making confectionary goods with their children.
    Or, for the older generation of sons and daughters, you could hold evening sessions, where mums get to experiment with chocolatiering whilst sipping a nice cool glass of prosecco, or a wine spritzer.
    It’ll be a Mother's Day never to be forgotten, all because of your business!

These are all just ideas, of course, but if you can tap into what your consumers want, and you can give them what they need, the potential payoff will make it well worth your time, money and effort.

We can’t wait to see how you all help your customers celebrate Mother’s Day.

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Until next time,