Don't forget the custard! Stockland's Christmas survey reveals what's on the table and under the tree this year

5 min
27 November 2023

The results are in from Stockland’s 2023 Christmas survey1, and they’ve revealed what Australians will be eating on Christmas Day, what they’re looking forward to doing, the most popular presents, and the shopping item most likely to be forgotten.

Stockland’s Executive General Manager, Town Centres, Michelle Abbey said the results from the annual survey always offer a fascinating insight into how we’re feeling in the lead up to the festive season.

“Australians are approaching this year’s festive season aware of cost of living pressures, though we know people are still looking forward to exchanging presents with family and friends,” Ms Abbey said.

“The results also show many Australians are looking forward to socialising and eating with family and friends, and just over half will be hosting Christmas celebrations at their home this year.”

The survey also shows more than half of Australians are purchasing a majority of their gifts at shopping centres, and many have started getting organised early to reduce stress, manage budgets and to get a jump on pre-Christmas sales.

“With nearly two thirds of Australians preparing to start their Christmas shopping in November and December, we’re expecting to see plenty of shoppers come through our doors from now until Christmas. Pre-Christmas sales, like Cyber Monday, can also help shoppers manage their budgets,” Ms Abbey added.

Spending on food remains a big part of festive celebrations, and the survey shows more than half of all Australians will be enjoying a traditional Christmas meal of turkey or ham.

To help the ‘Christmas Makers' in our lives, the survey found the top items left off the shopping list in the last-minute scramble are custard, cranberry sauce, ice cream, apple sauce and bread rolls.

Ms Abbey added that Stockland’s town centres are a convenient one-stop shop for all Christmas preparations, whether that be for fresh food and groceries, forgotten sauces and condiments, gift shopping, or an annual photo with Santa.

“We know Christmas can be one of the busiest times of the year, so our centres will be open for extended trading hours, and we’ve also curated a collection of Christmas recipes and gift guides on our website to help make Christmas planning that little bit easier,” Ms Abbey said.

With 20 town centres, Stockland has suburban and regional Australia covered with two centres each in Victoria and Western Australia, six in Queensland, and 10 in New South Wales to meet the needs of Christmas shoppers. Stockland Marketplace, our online shopping platform, can help to ease some of the pressure by bringing local stores and brands to customers wherever they are.

Stockland’s 2023 Christmas survey shows:

  • The most popular gifts Australians will buy this Christmas are gift cards (48%), toys and games (47%), and clothes (46%).
  • The top gift for mum will be jewellery (14%); gift cards for dad (12%), siblings (16%), and grandparents (8%); toys and games for children (43%); clothes for partners and spouses (17%); and alcohol for our besties (12%).
  • Shopping centres remain the destination of choice for 58% of Australians who say they will buy most of their gifts at shopping centres.
  • 80% of Australians enjoy Christmas shopping, and from this group, more than a third love Christmas shopping (34%) and the remainder (46%) enjoy it but can find it stressful at times.
  • Australians are most looking forward to socialising and dining with family and friends (59%), relaxing and taking time to recharge (38%), and exchanging gifts (23%).
  • Just over half of Australians (52%) will be hosting Christmas celebrations at their home this year, with one third (33%) hosting 10 people or less.
  • More than half of Australians (55%) will be enjoying a traditional meal of ham and turkey on Christmas Day, closely followed by fresh salad (49%), roast vegetables (46%), prawns (41%) and roast chicken (39%).
  • The most forgotten items from the Christmas shopping list are custard (11%), cranberry sauce (10%), ice cream (10%), apple sauce (9%), and bread rolls (9%).
  • 80% of Australians say that the current cost of living crisis will impact their spending this Christmas.

1. n = 1,070

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