How the UK will celebrate Bonfire Night during a pandemic

2020 has been a very different year from the rest. As we move out of the summer and into the Autumn, some of the key cultural moments start to come thick and fast. These trading opportunities are massive for retail businesses and we wanted to understand how the UK will celebrate Bonfire Night during a pandemic.

Spark Emotions is a specialist market research agency and we are experts in understanding shoppers. We combine shopper psychology with industry expertise to gain a deep understanding of how people are feeling and behaving to drive business growth. We have worked with some of the world’s leading brands helping them gain a better understanding of their customers

Within this article, you will find out how much appetite the UK has to celebrate Bonfire Night this year, what kind of products they will be buying and how they are feeling about it.

Only 1 in 4 UK adults plan to celebrate Bonfire Night

Before we understand how people are looking to celebrate Bonfire Night, we needed to find out if people were still planning to celebrate. We found that 1 in 4 UK adults are planning to celebrate Bonfire Night. Research from 2017 told us that nearly three-quarters of the UK enjoyed attending public bonfire nights, so this year will see a big drop.

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic will be a big driver in this reduction. The rule of six, bans on public gatherings and cases increasing in the UK will mean many events won’t go ahead. A number of large events have already been cancelled, with the famous Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival and Lewes Bonfire Celebrations already announcing that their events will not be going ahead this year.

Of the people celebrating Bonfire Night, 60% of people without children and 40% of parents were planning to attend a professional event but with cancellations coming thick and fast, these people are going to have to find another way to celebrate.

Confectionary products are the most planned purchase

As Bonfire Night events aren’t likely to go ahead this year, the products bought will be different from previous years, with families having to bring Bonfire Night to their own homes.

We found that the most planned purchase for Bonfire Night was confectionary, with 15% of people planning to buy, this is followed by alcohol with 13% and fireworks at 10%. With recent cancellations of events, we may see more people looking to buy fireworks than initially planned.

In recent times, firework safety has been a hot topic in the UK, we’ve even seen calls to ban their sale to the public. It will be very important for sellers of fireworks to really help customers understand how to put on their own events at home safely.

Bonfire Night is seen positively by the UK

When we drilled down into how the UK feels emotionally about Bonfire Night, we found that it brought more positive emotions than how the UK is feeling about the month of October.

Using our Spark Emotional Wheel, we are able to understand how people emotionally feel about something, whether that be an event, brand, product or even the whole world around them. We use this tool to help understand shopper emotions to help our clients tailor their product or service to better suit their customers.

How can you help

It is clear that how the UK will celebrate Bonfire Night during a pandemic will not be the same as previous years.

The country will have to celebrate at home as professional events are being cancelled and they will need help.

Retailers will need to ensure they have a product range that can help the UK do that. They will need to have the right messages, in the right places to help educate customers about how to celebrate safely.

Get in touch with us at Spark Emotions to find out how we can help you drive growth and gain market share during they key trading moments throughout the year.

Written by Jack Hillaby, Head of Business Development at Spark Emotions
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Jack via email or connect with him on LinkedIn

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