No turkey, mince pies or eggnog: Costa investigates Gen Z’s perfect Christmas

They’re cheesed off with cheeseboards, moan about mince pies and want to sack off the sprouts, new research from the Nation’s Favourite Coffee Shop*, Costa Coffee, reveals that when it comes to Christmas traditions, Gen Z is eager to twist things up.

Despite 68% of Brits stating that their households enjoy the same ‘traditional’ Christmas meal, new research reveals that this isn’t the case at all, with younger and older generations having very different views about Christmas food, treats and even baubles!

When it comes to Christmas dinners, Gen Z are the least likely to want a traditional roast turkey, similar to millennials who are also hoping to rid of the turkey and enjoy a meat alternative this Christmas. Gen Z are also loathers of Brussels sprouts, while two-thirds of older generations want them at their perfect Christmas lunch only a quarter of Gen Z would be happy to have them on their plates. This is a similar case when it comes to cheese boards, with Gen Z being half as likely to have one than any other generation.

The survey of 2,000 Brits, commissioned by Costa Coffee, also highlighted that when it comes to desserts, Gen Z is 48% more likely to want Sticky Toffee Pudding as part of the Christmas day than mince pies and 70% more likely than Yule log. Costa Coffee also polled its 420K followers about their festive frights and fancies, and almost half (45%) voted for Sticky Toffee Pudding as their favourite festive treat, gingerbread biscuits came in second place with 35% of votes with less than a quarter (20%) voting for Christmas Pudding and almost half (46%) stating that Christmas Pudding is the thing they look forward to at Christmas.

Along with their desire to stir up their Christmas meals, Gen Z also has different preferences when it comes to Christmas drinks, with one-in-four wanting to sip on an iced coffee on Christmas day, which drops to one-in-five for eggnog or Irish cream.

Samantha Jardine, product developer at Costa Coffee, said: “It’s no surprise that Gen Z want to twist up their Christmas Day treats with deserts like Sticky Toffee pudding. With its sticky and sweet toffee flavour, the desert is one that’s been loved for generations and it’s great to see that it’s not going anywhere with Gen Z becoming the new advocates for one of the nation’s most treasured deserts.”

 Looking for inspiration to twist up your Christmas? Follow Samantha’s top tips this festive season:

  1. Love them or hate them, Brussel sprouts are commonly found on Christmas tables across the nation. Not a fan? Try sprucing them up by drizzling them in maple or toffee syrup.
  2. Christmas treats don’t need to be saved for Christmas day alone. Favourite festive deserts, like Sticky Toffee, can be enjoyed ahead of Christmas dinner this year at Costa Coffee, with a festive menu which includes a festive Sticky Toffee latte layered with sticky toffee flavoured sauce, topped with a light whip, drizzled with sauce & sprinkled with a bronze shimmer dust. An ideal festive treat!
  3. Glazed carrots with a twist are a surefire way to spruce up Christmas lunch. Try glazing with sweet brown sugar and roasting so you enjoy delicious, caramelised edges and sticky toffee-like glaze!
  4. Stir up your coffee on Christmas morning by adding a drizzle or sprinkle of something sweet like sticky toffee sauce or pair it with a sweet treat like a Sticky Toffee Loaf cake, also available on Costa Coffee’s festive menu!
  5. Twist down the dial on your winter beverages and mix up traditions by enjoying an Iced Coffee or Iced Tea this festive season – a perfect refresher after wrapping last minute gifts by a warm fireplace.

Sticky Toffee Pudding is loved across the nation, being ranked the UK’s favourite dessert last year[ii], so it was only right that Costa Coffee transformed the classic pudding into a beverage this Christmas. The tasty new Sticky Toffee Latte and new Sticky Toffee Iced Latte have joined the coffee chain’s festive menu, providing coffee lovers – both hot and cold, with a new Christmas favourite. Both drinks feature a yummy sticky toffee flavoured sauce, topped with Light Whip, and drizzled with even more sauce, finished with a sprinkling of bronze shimmery, angel-like dust. Along with a Sticky Toffee beverage, customers can also tuck into a comforting slice of Costa Coffee’s new Sticky Toffee Loaf Cake, a toffee flavoured sponge cake which is topped with caramel frosting, caramel drizzle, and indulgent fudge pieces.  The ideal treat, for every generation.

Beyond the dining table, Gen Z have a desire to twist up their festive décor by bringing back old school decorations being more likely to go for outdoor ornaments (they’re a third more likely to have outdoor ornaments or outdoor Christmas lights than other gens on average); almost twice as likely as any other generation to go for fake snow and almost five times more likely to than baby boomers. They’re also fans of fake Christmas trees (75%), and Christmas music playlists (59%), in contrast to the boomer generation’s higher preferences for fairy lights (80%).

When it comes to Christmas activities it could be argued that Gen Z are the most philanthropic generation, with 50% more likely to volunteer around Christmas than any other generation. They’re also twice as likely to go for a festive run or workout compared to millennials who prefer to go to the pub (29%), go carolling (13%), and play board games (55%).

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