We asked parents to tell us their views and to give us feedback on what family life looks like post COVID. With lockdown restrictions finally starting to lift, and retail, hospitality and attractions re-opening, we discovered that of the parents who managed to save during the pandemic, only 4% are planning to blow all their savings. Read on to find out more Insights into Parents and Family Life Post COVID and to download our free report.
Would you like business-transforming insights for your brand? Use our tailored panels of engaged parents and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help your decision making and activate customers. Contact us now to find how we can help.
This month’s Insights report gives feedback from parents and insights into their views on family life post COVID. To gather this, we carried out an online survey as well as an online focus group.
Key Insights from Parents on Family Life Post COVID
To gather these insights we ran an online survey on Mykidstime.com in April 2021 with 823 responses from parents and an in-depth insights panel carried out on our ParentsandBrands private platform with 30 panel participants.
#1. Families Don’t Plan to Blow Savings After COVID
With much talk of ‘the roaring 20s’ with a potential tidal wave of money hitting the economy, our research shows that only 4% of parents are planning to blow all their savings. Families that did manage to save during COVID don’t plan to spend it all.
While household savings in Ireland may be at their highest point ever at €124.5bn at end 2020, parents have been telling ParentsandBrands that they want to hold onto at least some of their saved cash.
There is also an appetite for continuing with saving, if possible, with 39% of parents saying they plan to keep on saving.
#2. It’s Party Time for Parents But It’s Going to Be At Home
Socialising and celebrations top the list of plans with parents saying they will spend some money on home and garden improvements. This could represent a big opportunity for food/drink for celebrations, bouncy castles/marquees, weekends away with extended families, etc.
“Celebrating and seeing friends and family in comfort. We missed a 40th birthday, 65th and 75th birthdays and a 45 year wedding anniversary.”
“Can’t wait for big family gatherings like Christmas, birthdays, Communions, Christenings etc. where all the family get together and the kids play away with all their cousins for the day.”
“Meeting up with friends and family and celebrating all the birthdays and anniversaries missed!”
“I am looking forward to properly reconnecting with extended family, having family and friends visit and celebrate together.”
#3. No Rush Back to Restaurants For Families
When it comes to eating out, there’s a potential slow return for this segment of consumers, the feedback hints more home based socialising to start with, and meal kits may remain popular for the family segment.
“I hope our weekends will continue to be less hectic. I am also hoping some fancy restaurants continue with their dine at home packages as it is much more affordable and no need to pay for a babysitter.”
“Less eating out for sure.”
“Spending time visiting family and friends and having them to our home for coffee, dinner, or BBQs.”
“Will cut back on eating out and will cook more, have saved a fortune cooking at home during COVID.”
“We probably won’t eat out as much.”
#4. Return to Old-School Activities to Amuse the Kids
Family life has changed with many parents signalling the intention to continue home based family activities: board games, baking and cooking together, etc.
“My children play a lot more on the street with neighbouring children, rain, hail or shine and I am hoping this will continue. We have had plenty of time for family board games and walks rather than rushing to activities and birthday parties.”
“I’m hoping our appreciation for our lives and the way we lived will continue. I’d like to think we will be grateful for everything we have and do so much more after this. Also I think we will slow down a little – we won’t do as many after school classes etc, won’t be tied to as many things as the pace of life and slowdown wasn’t a bad thing.”
“The after school activities most evenings could get so tiring before so I hope I can appreciate them more now. I’m also hoping to maintain some of the laid back times we have now, I’m hoping we will still get to spend good quality time together when life gets busy again.”
#5. Family Savings Won’t Be Going on the Road But They Will Be Taking a Hike
Only 6% are planning to change car and 5% of parents are planning to drop to one car while family activities will be firmly focused more on outdoor in 2021 with free activities such as continuing regular family walks popular.
“We will go down to one car as we won’t both have to travel to the office daily so can manage with only one.”
“I haven’t been using my car much lately so my daughter and I will keep up the walking e.g. to school and football training.”
“I love how we have slowed down at the weekends, and for the better. Love our weekly hike, can’t see that stopping!”
“There will not be as much running and racing as there was before, and spending more time doing outdoor activities.”
“Will appreciate & not take for granted all we do together as a family. Will definitely do more walking activities together.”
#6. Parents Hoping to Take to the Skies in 2022
Holidays are focused on Ireland this year with parents planning for 2022 for abroad.
“Can’t wait! Probably staycation this year but we’ll be off again hopefully in 2022!”
“We have a staycation booked in August that hopefully will happen and all going to plan we will go abroad in 2022. For 2021 our family holidays will be in Ireland.”
“I’m nervous about getting on a plane. We had been planning a trip to Barcelona but that is gone on the long finger. I see us staying in Ireland for 2021 and possibly 2022.”
“We have Lapland booked for Dec 2021 in the hopes we can travel. This is a one off holiday that we now can afford as we’ve missed the costs of 2 years of holidays. We will return to a ski holiday and a summer holiday, once we’re allowed.”
“We have rebooked a family holiday to Spain twice already, but are hoping it will go ahead this year. We have a weekend planned to Kilkenny and another to Cork this summer. Once we are free to travel again safely, we will definitely be booking more holidays.”
#7. Spending Family Time More Important Than Spending Money
There is definitely a return to paid kids’ after-school and sport activities, but also the intention to continue home based family activities: board games, baking and cooking together, etc. Many parents articulated less frivolous spending and a move towards conscious consumerism.
“As a family we have been much closer playing board games. I don’t want that to change. A 17 year old who was always in her room now looks forward to cards or board games. I did lose my aunt and my boss of 20 years, so times will never be the same.”
“I can see us all having a tighter and smaller circle of friends. Fewer visits to other’s homes than was the norm pre-COVID, less frequent playdates and the ability to confidently say no to social occasions when we feel like it. COVID has allowed us to make family our top priority and not feel obliged to be here, there and everywhere all at once.”
“I will appreciate life and family more. Less dependence on having nice possessions and appreciate the simple things more.”
“Spend more time in our garden and enjoy arts and crafts. Eat out less and enjoy more picnics.”
“We will definitely not go back to the crazy busy schedules we had. We were always on the road taking the children to sports, music and doing many activities. COVID and Lockdown has made us reevaluate how we spend our time.”
“More experiences together as a family and less retail therapy and stuff for adults and kids. We don’t need stuff. Spending time with family is far more important and fun.”
“Hoping to focus on time together, the simple things like playing a game, time in the garden, going for a walk.”
Key Stats From The Research
- Only 4% of parents said they plan to blow their savings. 39% of parents surveyed said they intended to keep any savings they managed to accumulate during COVID for a rainy day. 11% say they will spend some and save some, while just over a quarter of parents (26%) said they didn’t manage to save at all during COVID.
- A family holiday abroad (39%) or Staycation (35%) topped the list of things that parents say they plan to spend on post-COVID. Socialising with family & friends was also up top of the list with (38%) saying this was the most important thing they planned to spend on. Other popular categories of planned spend include clothing / make-up (22%) and home improvements/home retail (29%).
- When it comes to entertaining the kids, over half of parents (52%) intend to continue paying for streaming entertainment services, 54% intend to do paid outdoor family activities while 39% are happy to get back to paid indoor family activities.
- 83% of parents said their children will return to after school activities with almost a quarter, 22% saying they will reduce the amount their kids will participate in.
- For parents planning to spend savings, socialising, home improvements and holidays were the top categories of spend mentioned.
- While parents are looking forward to getting back to the shops, only 35% of parents say that they will shop more in-store after COVID.
Recommendations for Businesses and Brands
Overall we are hearing that parents don’t want to splurge frivolously but want to make considered, thoughtful purchases, most likely experiences, holidays or on improving family life.
Of course this isn’t great news for businesses! So what is the implication for businesses and what they should be doing as a result? Here are some recommendations or advice on how businesses should act on these insights.
- Across all sectors, communicating value and quality to parents is going to be key to getting them to spend those savings.
- Businesses need to know what the parent market wants and how to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
- Online will continue to be a strong channel for transactions. Irish businesses need to ensure their online offerings are the best they can be.
Download Our Free Insights Report
For more recommendations, survey results and in-depth insights, download our free insights report on Family Life Post COVID.
In the report you’ll get key stats, insights and recommendations to use for your brand.
Would you like business-transforming insights from parents for your business? Use our tailored panels of engaged parents and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help influence consumers to deliver long term profitability. Contact us now to find how we can help.