Traditional Christmas staples like Christmas pudding and Brussels sprouts are in decline as Gen Z opts for trendy brunches during Christmas. 

Despite being one of the most favoured Christmas dinner sides for older generations, nearly one in four people aged 18-24 say they hate Brussel sprouts, according to new research from Tesco shared exclusively with FEMAIL.

Gen Z isn’t just dumping the trimmings. The number of young adults opting for Christmas pudding for dessert this year is a mere eight per cent – down from 24 per cent in 2020.

The number of 25-34 year olds opting for the traditional pudding has also fallen drastically, having halved from 30 per cent in 2020 to just 15 per cent in 2021 – with the supermarket saying chocolate desserts are likely to be the most common thing served on December 25 in the future. 

Traditional festive staples such as Brussels sprouts and Christmas pudding are falling out of favour as Gen Z ditch the classic fare and instead opt for trendy brunches at Christmas.

Traditional Christmas staples like Christmas pudding and Brussels sprouts are in decline as Gen Z opts for trendy brunches during Christmas.

Young adults are not looking for a traditional roast dinner. Instead, they want picture-perfect food that looks great on Instagram. A fifth of them even choose a Christmas brunch instead.

Supermarkets are offering modern versions to traditional foods. Tesco has launched a Tesco Finest Black Forest Christmas Pudding and dozens of chocolate-based desserts in response to the nation’s growing desire for new Classic Yuletide dishes like the Tesco Speculoos Profiterole Gateau.       

Instagrammable Christmas dinner

It can’t be just any Christmas dinner. Young adults have to make it more Instagram-worthy this year.

Adults in the UK of all ages say they will do everything to make this year’s spread a success.

You can make festive dishes look festive by using platters, as opposed to regular dinner plates, and festive flowers as decorations.

End of Brussels sprouts?

SpRout could lose its status as a festive staple. There is a clear pattern emerging which shows that the popularity of the vegetable is declining with each generation. 

65 percent of those over 75 are the most vocal advocates. However, this drops to 26 percent for 18-24-year olds.

Despite the fact that the vegetable continues its split, more people still love them than hate. In fact, 49% of Americans claim to love’ them and 21% claim to hate’ them.

One in four people between the ages of 18 and 25 say they ‘hate sprouts.   

There has been an 11 per cent rise in 18-34 year olds claiming to ‘hate’ sprouts YoY (from 23 perc cent  to 34 per cent  – and 39 per cent amongst 18-24 year olds) – which is quite significant compared to other YoY changes

 There has also been a significant 9 per cent drop in those that claim to love them within this age group – meaning for the first time more people in this age group (and an indicator for the future) hate sprouts than love them 

New perspectives on the subject 

Over a third (33%) of UK adults want to try new dishes and products for Christmas 2021.

This is especially true for 18-34 year-olds, who account for 62 percent of those planning to invent their food and drink choices. 

This can be done in many ways including buying new, talkable products and experimenting with classics. They also plan to look to social media trends for inspiration.  

Christmas pudding was dominated by chocolate and ice cream  

Christmas pudding is being relegated to the back burner by Brits’ love of chocolate and ice cream.

This year, only 28 percent of the population will indulge in Christmas puddings – compared to 44 percent last year. However, older generations are keeping the tradition alive.

Over 65s will enjoy Christmas pudding desserts on Christmas Day at 44%, compared to 20% for 35-44-year-olds, 15% for 25-24-year-olds, and just 8% for 18-34-year-olds.

The popularity of ice cream, chocolate desserts and cheesecake is increasing among younger generations. 18-24-year-olds will eat icecream (13%) and chocolate dessert (11%) this Christmas, while Christmas pudding (-9%) will be eaten by them.

65 percent of those over 75 are the most vocal advocates. However, this drops to 26 percent for 18-24-year olds. 

Many will also opt for savoury desserts, with more than two thirds tucking into a cheese board on Christmas Day, with Cheddar Brie and Stilton  set to be the top cheeses chosen.

However, younger adults (18–34-year-olds) were four times as likely to opt for adventurous cheese like Halloumi  compared to the over 60s.

Halloumi’s new position as a festive favorite saw its sales soar by 33 per cent in the five weeks leading to Christmas last year.

Pigs in blankets rule supreme 

Pig in blankets is a traditional Christmas dinner staple that is not at risk of being lost. 

They are a favourite trimming for two thirds of UK adults (63%) – an increase of 24 percent over last year.

25% (24%) of 25-34 year-olds will eat over ten during the Christmas season.

This year Tesco has launched inventive varieties such as Tesco Finest Pigs in Blankets Candy Canes with Orange & Maple Glaze, as well as plant based options such as Plant Chef Meat Free Bangers in Blankets and Wicked Kitchen Choriz-NO Pigless Duvets to tap into the trend of a vegan Christmas.

The roast potato has been named the most essential vegetable on the Christmas lunch plate by 87 per cent of people, replacing carrots which occupied the top spot last season but fell to third this year.

One traditional Christmas dinner staple not at risk of going anywhere is pig in blankets with popularity soaring.

Pig in blankets is a traditional Christmas dinner staple that is not at risk of being lost.

Veganism: Not enough 

Traditional turkey is still very much in fashion, but 27% of UK adults will cater to vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based guests at Christmas.

However, 25% (26%) of vegans/vegetarians are considering quitting their regular diets on Christmas Day so they can enjoy the many dishes made from meat and dairy. 

A less merry Christmas 

Red wine was named the top tipple choice by 29 per cent of UK adults for the big day. This is up from white (27%) who took the top spot in 2020.

A majority of Americans enjoy a glass or two of the finer things. Nearly a fifth (19%) say they will have champagne on Christmas Day.

However, the recent growth in mindful drinking seems set to continue with a quarter (24 per cent) of UK adults set to opt for no and low alcohol tipples only on the big day itself – a 10 percent increase on last year (15 per cent). These growing trends are being led by Cardiff (35%), Norwich (40%) and Brighton (40%)

Tesco makes it easy for you to keep temptation away by offering meat-free celebrations with mouth-watering options like the Tesco Plant chef Meat-Free Festive Veget Roast and Wicked Kitchen No-Turkey Roast Crown. 

Despite the increased emphasis placed on innovative and ‘talkable” festive food, turkey remains the centerpiece. 

According to the survey, 68% of UK adults intend to enjoy a turkey roast on 25 December. This suggests that many people are longing for a traditional family Christmas.

The Christmas bird is becoming more popular than ever, regardless of whether it’s a full bird such as a Tesco Finest Brit Free Range Turkey or a smaller crown. 

Celebrations big and early 

It’s not surprising that the nation wants to celebrate the holiday season as it was before the pandemic.

Nearly half the respondents want to spend more Christmas with family than they did in the past, and 20% want to spend time with friends. 

A third of respondents plan to socialize more, while one in six and fifteen percent plan to host more parties than previous years.

However, when it comes to celebrations on December 31st, 18 per cent of 18–34-year-olds claim to have started a new New Year’s Eve tradition last year that they’ll be continuing this year – the ‘big night in’. Instead of going out, they will be staying home until midnight.

The celebrations are set to start early because so many people are more excited about the festivities than usual. Over one in ten (12%) families will have their decorations and tree up by November’s end. 

Christmas celebrations that are conscious

Last year was extraordinary. However, there are signs that these events have raised awareness of social issues in the community and made people more active in their communities.

34 percent of Brits will donate this Christmas to a food bank. One in five Brits will gift through an in-store collection point. One in ten will give warm clothes to the homeless, shelter or shelter. A further 9 percent will assist a neighbor in need. 

This Christmas will not only be a time of charity, but also a time to be environmentally conscious. 36% of the nation intends to be more sustainable during the festive season, and 49% claim that their Christmas purchasing decisions will be affected by thinking about the environment. 

Exclusively speaking to FEMAIL Alessandra Belllini, Tesco Chief Customer Officer stated: “As we enjoy freedom to extend the table and make wonderful memories it’s perhaps not surprising that 86 per cent of the nation say that nothing will stop us from having a joyous Christmas in 2021.

‘In our fourth annual Tesco Christmas Report, we’ve lifted the lid on what the seasonal comeback will look like – from reviving family traditions to finding new food occasions and being sustainably savvy throughout celebrations.