Consumers Tap Dad’s Summer Grilling Excitement for Father’s Day Gifting

man grilling

As consumers seek Father’s Day gifting options more creative than yet another tie, some are buying their dads fancier cuts of meat as barbecue season gets into full swing.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Reba Hatcher, chief commercial officer at ButcherBox, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) company selling both meat subscriptions and single-purchase gift boxes, explained that, where other gifting holidays see consumers purchasing more subscriptions, Father’s Day has many consumers buying one-time boxes.

“Father’s Day is a super interesting time. It’s a combination of a holiday in and of itself but also the kickoff to summer,” Hatcher said. “[Gift shoppers] are looking for something [special.] So, our tomahawk steak or T-bone steak that’s going to have that wow factor. It’s a huge cut of meat. It’s exciting. It’s a really high-quality piece. It’s expensive. And so, it denotes that gift factor as opposed to something [more mundane].”

Hatcher added that, given how the holiday aligns in the calendar with consumers’ outdoor barbecues, the company sees shoppers opting for more premium one-time grilling experiences rather recurring items.

Notably, consumers are expected to spend less this Father’s Day than in years past. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans spent unprecedented amounts on holidays last year. However, this year’s Father’s Day spending is anticipated to decline slightly. The NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics’ annual survey projects Father’s Day spending to hit $22.4 billion, marking the second-highest total in the survey’s history, just behind last year’s peak of $22.9 billion.

“Especially as we look at really high inflationary pressures, people want to know that they’re spending their dollars in the right way,” Hatcher said.

And consumers this year are minding price tags. The February installment of PYMNTS Intelligence’s Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report, “The Cautious Spender: US Consumers Now Think First, Spend Second,” revealed that, for end-of-year gift shopping, 52% of consumers reported being more mindful of prices compared to their regular, non-holiday purchases. Plus, 48% of those surveyed said prices played a role in their decision on where to shop and what to buy, and 42% said the same of sales, promotions and discounts.

Against this backdrop, as consumers look to make sure they are getting sufficient value for every buck they spend, ButcherBox is also seeing more interest in gift cards this Father’s Day than in previous years.

To that point, the November PYMNTS Intelligence and i2c collaboration, titled “The Credit Economy: How Consumers are Approaching Holiday Spending and Travel,” noted strong interest in buying gift cards last holiday season. These were the second-most popular retail gift category behind clothing, with 37% of gift shoppers buying such cards. To the Father’s Day point, gift cards were the most popular among Gen X consumers.

“We’re seeing a slight uptick in our gift card sales compared to previous years,” Hatcher said, “I think in part because people want their dads to get exactly what he wants — it goes back to that dollar stretching.”

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