Nine in 10 American moms (89%) say they are changing the way they host parties and family gatherings in light of COVID-19 in 2021, according to a study by BSM Media.
The agency conducted the study to identify trends related to party planning and celebrations.
One of the biggest changes is the replacement of a single birthday cake with individual cupcakes in order to control the transfer of germs spread by blowing across a cake.
Six in 10 respondents will serve more individually wrapped snacks and foods and one in three will eliminate food buffets from their parties entirely.
Home baking will also be impacted. Over 30% said they feel their home baking will be down because of fewer occasions that require homemade treats. The demand for their desserts is particularly lower in classrooms. One in four moms responded that their kids’ schools now only allow packaged foods or treats, thus reducing their need to pull out the baking pans. And 7% will purchase more store-bought baked goods in general due to fears of germs and home-cooked products.
However, one thing that won’t change is moms' love for balloons. The majority of those polled (86%) intend to decorate with balloons regardless how small or virtual their event.
“Party planners are cautiously optimistic about holding events this year,” says Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media and author of “Marketing to Millennial Moms in a Post Pandemic World.”
“The good news for brands is that many of the modified party behaviors present new food category growth,” said Bailey.
Parties are likely to become more intimate. Sixty-eight percent will plan smaller events, with 50% indicating they will plan more events outdoors. Nearly half intend to hold virtual parties, 43% drive-by parades. Six percent will eliminate young children and elderly or sick people from their events. About half will celebrate outdoors in backyards and parks versus living rooms and rented entertainment centers.
“Moms are looking for solutions to meet their new needs in entertaining,” says Bailey. “Brands who introduce products that meet those needs like Party City who now sells virtual party kits will come out winners this year.”
Three in four feel it’s at least somewhat likely they will be canceling an event in 2021.
The “2021 Celebration Survey” queried 454 women who self-identified as their household’s party planners, with at least one child under 18 at home in November 2020.