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Grandparents will spend £1.4billion on grandkids this Christmas

Posted on 14 December 2017

  • Grandparents spend £42 on each grandchild and around £154 in total on their grandchildren
  • One in five spend more than £250
  • Younger kids prefer presents, older kids want cold hard cash!

The latest figures from SunLife reveals that UK grandparents will spend more than £1.4billion on Christmas presents for their grandchildren this year.

Research by over 50s experts SunLife has found there are 8.4million people aged 50-75 in the UK who have grandkids and celebrate Christmas. On average, these grandparents have four grandchildren and they will spend £42 on each – that’s £167 on average which across the UK is a staggering £1,416,733,965!

One in five grandparents have six or more grandkids to buy for, which means forking out more than £250 each Christmas!

The research has also shown that younger children much prefer receiving presents while older kids want the cash! More than two thirds (69%) of 6-8 year olds say they like receiving gifts, just 5% would choose cash or a gift card but this switches completely for teenagers – just 12% want presents while 81% would rather have cash or gift cards.

Top gift choice from grandparentsAverage6-8yrs9-11yrs12-13yrs14-15yrs
iTunes gift card 5.2% 2.7% 4.5% 8.2% 6.6%
Other gift card 10.2% 2.7% 14.8% 13.4% 9.0%
Presents 42.9% 69.4% 46.7% 25.5% 12.7%
Cash 35.1% 16.9% 29.6% 45.7% 65.2%
None of the above / Not sure 6.6% 8.3% 4.5% 7.3% 6.6%

Ian Atkinson, marketing director at SunLife said: “We’ve learnt from previous research that generations often feel out of touch with each other. As a company that’s for everyone over 50, we wanted to help grandparents with their Christmas shopping this year.”

To help those grandparents still looking to buy a gift rather than give their grandchildren cash or gift cards, SunLife asked 1,700 kids aged 6-15 exactly what they wanted for Christmas. The full results can be seen in SunLife’s Grandchildren’s gift guide – a comprehensive list of the top gift ideas for kids of all ages, ranging from under £10 to over £50.

The most popular choice this year for boys was Lego, closely followed by computer games while topping the list for girls were board games. The highest placed choice on both the girls’ and boys’ lists was board games, followed by mobile phones, tablets and science kits.

The most popular gift in the ‘average’ spend price range of £42, was LEGO Minecraft The Mushroom Island for kids aged up to 11, and then for older kids, clothes; pyjamas are the most popular request, followed by tops, dressing gowns and jeans.

The most popular themes included Smiggle, Superheroes, Minecraft, Pokemon and Unicorns, while girls said they’d rather have a Spider-man themed lunchbox than Frozen.

When asked if money was no object and they could have anything in the world, the answers ranged from the luxurious to the ridiculous, with requests for everything from a Ferrari to a pet unicorn, with one child just wishing their nan and grandad lived closer.

Ian concludes: “We’re giving grandparents a practical, informative list based on the answers we've got from asking over 1,700 children what they want from their grandparents at Christmas. Their answers were funny, informative and really heart-warming – from saying their favourite part of Christmas is spending time with the family… to being desperate for a pet unicorn, a million pounds and a huge cheesecake!”

Top 10 gifts for boys

  1. LEGO
  2. Computer games
  3. Gadgets
  4. Board games
  5. Mobile phone
  6. Tablet
  7. Computer game system such as Xbox or PS4
  8. Nerf guns
  9. Action figures
  10. Science at home set such as make your own slime

Top 10 gifts for girls

  1. Board games
  2. Jewellery/accessories
  3. Make it yourself such as jewellery
  4. Clothes/fashion
  5. Science at home set such as make your own slime
  6. Books
  7. Mobile phone
  8. Puzzles
  9. Tablet
  10. Sweets and chocolate

Sources

Number of people aged 50-75 in the UK according to ONS is 18,820,525

SunLife’s Big 50 interviewed 50,000 people aged 50-75 and 50% said they had grandchildren, which is 9,410,263.

90% of grandparents celebrate Christmas, which is 8,469,237. Our OnePoll research reveals Grandparents spend £41.82 on average on each grandchild. Our Big 50 reveals the average number of grandchildren each grandparent has is 3.69, rounded up to 4. £41.82 x 4 is £167.28. The total spent is £154.32167.28 x 8,469,237 = £1.4bn.

Number of people aged 50-75 in UK (ONS) 18,820,525
% of 50-75s grandparents (Big50) 50%
Number of 50-75s grandparents (18.8million x 0.5) 9,410,263
% of grandparents that celebrate Christmas (9.4million x 0.9) 8,469,237
Average number of grandchildren (Big50) 4
Average spent on each grandchild (OnePoll Research) £41.82
Average spent by each grandparent (OnePoll Research) £167.28
Average spent by grandparents aged 50-75 in UK £1,416,733,965

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.