Restaurant Dive: Consumers expected to spend 29% more on restaurant gift cards, study says


Restaurant Dive recently spotlighted our 2020 BrandedPay Holiday report1, which combined consumer research and U.S. sales data to highlight this year’s holiday shopping and gifting trends.

Our research found that surveyed consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier this year, and 52% are more likely to buy more gift cards this holiday season than in previous years. Analysis of our sales data also found that consumers have already spent 29% more this year on restaurant eCommerce gift cards than they did in 2019, and that trend is poised to continue through the holiday.

In an analysis of our research data combine with additional trendspotting, Restaurant Dive reports that the influx of gift card revenue could create a tailwind for restaurants as we head into winter potentially giving diners an incentive to order out during the typically slower colder months, which is some much needed good news, especially as stay-at-home orders are looming once again for many areas.

Additional key findings from our 2020 BrandedPay Holiday research include:

  • Holiday shoppers are turning to gift cards more than ever before. Respondents expect to buy 10 gift cards this year on average—double what they reported last year. Additionally, surveyed consumers expect to spend 40% of their holiday gifting budget, or $313 on average, on gift cards this year. That’s a 19% increase from the $262 consumers reported spending on gift cards in 2019.
  • Demand for digital gifting reaches all-time high. Nearly half of respondents (49%) plan to do more of their holiday shopping online, and consumers on average plan to do about 60% of their holiday shopping online this year. Three-quarters of surveyed consumers report that gift cards are a good gifting option because they can be purchased digitally. eGifts have also experienced enormous growth this year; sales data from our partners shows that sales of eGifts sold on merchants’ websites are up 74% over 2019. Recent research from Visa2 also found that 33% of surveyed Americans plan on giving more digital gift cards during the 2020 holiday season than they have in previous years.

Click to read our full 2020 BrandedPay Holiday findings, and read the trend full article at Restaurant Dive.


[1] The “2020 BrandedPay Holiday Shopping Preview” report is based on findings from the Holiday Gifting 2020 study conducted by Leger on behalf of Blackhawk Network between August 24-31, 2020.

[2] The “Visa Back to Business Study, Holiday Edition” was conducted by Wakefield Research between June12-29, 2020 across eight markets.