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"Celebrate Life" study shows that enjoyment is returning to Europe

"Celebrate Life" study shows that enjoyment is returning to Europe


Survey commissioned by Henkell Freixenet shows how people experience enjoyment in the second pandemic year, what they expect from 2022 - and how they spend Christmas

  • "Celebrate Life!"-Index rises significantly in Spain, France and Great Britain - least in Germany

  • Anticipation of festive season prevails despite Corona

  • More people in the mood to celebrate - Christmas also in larger groups

  • Optimism is back - more than one out of two people hopeful for 2022

Wiesbaden, 26 November 2021. Under the heading "Celebrate Life", Henkell Freixenet commissioned a study on enjoyment behaviour in Corona times for the second time after 2020. The market research institute YouGov Deutschland GmbH investigated how much people in Germany, Spain, France and Great Britain enjoyed their lives even in Corona times. Additionally, the study gives an outlook on how people will celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve this year.

Enjoyment is slowly coming back into the lives of Europeans - this is the essence of a representative study on people's enjoyment behaviour. The changed mood is reflected, among other things, in the plans for the holidays: significantly more people than in 2020 want to spend this special time not only with their closest family but also with extended family and friends. The majority also want to celebrate Christmas "as usual" - in other words, as it would be without the pandemic (69%), and only one out of four will let Corona take away their anticipation this year. Expectations for the New Year are correspondingly high: almost two-thirds believe in an enjoyable 2022 (62%). As a result, the "Celebrate Life" index has risen significantly from 3.5 to 4.3 points compared to the previous year.

More enjoyment despite pandemic

In terms of enjoyment, things were clearly on the upswing in 2021 despite the ongoing pandemic: 46% of respondents were able to enjoy their lives (2020: 31%). The Spanish (53%) made the biggest leap from last to first place (2020: 26%). Among the French (50%) and the respondents from Great Britain (47%), about every second person was able to enjoy life. The Germans are much more pessimistic - they bring up the rear with only 39%. Opinions differ on what exactly constitutes enjoyment in life. The first place is clear: time with family and friends is currently most important to all respondents (58%), to the British in particular (62%). Many people also enjoy having time to themselves (48%), although the Germans (51%) have a greater need for this than their European neighbours. Finally, third place is shared by good food and drink and time in the great outdoors (40%). The former means enjoyment especially for Germans, the latter for respondents in the UK (44% each). In an international comparison, celebrating is particularly high on the list of priorities for Spaniards - more than one in three consider festivities with friends and family important (38%).

Christmas and New Year's Eve: Great desire for "old normal"

Christmas is clearly a family celebration again this year. Three quarters plan to get together with loved ones - often still in a small circle (76%), but the desire to celebrate in a larger group is noticeably increasing. Half of the Spanish (51%) and as many as 45% of the French want to have the extended family around them. More than one out of three Spanish respondents also plan to meet up with friends (38%) - the highest figure among all countries, with Germans being the most reserved. This is matched by people's strong desire for normality, especially at this special time of year. A clear majority would like to celebrate "as usual" (69%), last year less than half of the respondents could imagine this (43%). Most people are also determined not to let the anticipation of Christmas get the better of them, with only one in four still feeling the effects of Corona in this respect (2020: 46%).

The situation is similar for New Year's Eve, even though the turn of the year will still be spent mainly at home with a partner in 2021 (60%). Although the time for lavish parties does not seem to have come again across all countries, the French and the Spanish find it comparatively difficult to do without - around one out of three of them would like to celebrate properly (34% and 29% respectively). Respondents in Germany and Great Britain are much less in the mood (15% and 14% respectively). There are also major differences in the way people in Europe look forward to the New Year: while four out of five respondents in Spain believe in an enjoyable 2022 (79%), the figure is considerably lower in France (two-thirds) and the UK (60%). The Germans are again the most sceptical, but one in two is hopeful for the New Year.

Three, two, one... Sparkling drinks first choice at New Year´s Eve

More than one in two respondents will welcome the New Year with a glass of sparkling wine (54%), including 8% who will go for the non-alcoholic variety. The Spaniards are in the lead - three out of four will toast 2022 with sparkling wine (74%). They are followed by Germans (63%) and French (59%) - the British, on the other hand, have other preferences, with only one out of three (34%).

"The last two years have been very challenging for all of us, and for many people enjoyment has been neglected. It is all the more beautiful to see how pleasure is slowly returning to everyday life. This is also evident across countries in the high value placed on good food and drink. We are learning to enjoy life again," says Andreas Brokemper, CEO of Henkell Freixenet, commenting on the survey results.

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