The UK’s Gifting Habits

From Christmas and birthdays to Easter and Valentine’s Day, gift giving is a year-round act for many. With self-care and self-gifting also on the rise, pay day treats and little pick-me-ups are becoming more and more frequent.

With this in mind, we surveyed the UK to find out who the biggest self-gifters are in the country, who spends the most on gifting, and what the most common gifts given are. We also combined our survey insight with Google search data to find out what people are searching for when it comes to gifting trends in the UK.

The Top Self-Gifters in the UK

It's no surprise that as a gift-giving nation, we’re often showering our friends, family and loved ones with treats and presents at every opportunity we can think of, even if it’s just to say, ‘we’re thinking of you.’

Our survey insights uncovered that Wales is the biggest gift-giving region and, in fact, the Welsh are the biggest pay-day treaters too – spending more on pay day than any other occasion throughout the year. Gifters in the West Midlands came in second, and purchase diamonds as gifts for themselves more often than buying diamonds for friends, family members or partners. Residents in the West Midlands and the North West are also most likely to self-gift to celebrate a good day, compared to the rest of the UK who are more likely to treat themselves when having a bad day over a good one.

Those living in Greater London spend the most money on themselves, spending £150 on self-gifting on average, compared to almost half of Scots who spend between £0 and £50 on themselves. Greater Londoners are also more likely to gift themselves on their birthdays than any other occasion in the year, talk about treating yourself!

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When it comes to celebrating new jobs, Wales and Greater London are the biggest self-gifting regions, alongside the East Midlands and the North West. People in the North West also treat themselves the most for bagging that big promotion at work. Nothing says ‘congrats’ more than a gift from you to you.

Over the last few years we’ve seen the rise in self-care grow enormously, with online searches around self-care packages increasing by 3025% and gifts for myself increasing by nearly 400% since 2017.

People are searching for ways to look after themselves, not least by treating themselves when they’ve had a bad day or ‘just because.’ Our survey identified the top reasons people buy themselves a gift, with ‘just a little pick me up’ being the main reason for self-gifting.

Alongside a little pick me up, birthdays and Christmas sit within the top three occasions for self-gifting, while engagements and having a baby are the occasions when people are least likely to gift themselves.

Interestingly, we found that people in the UK treat themselves more when they’re having a bad day than when they’re having a good one, highlighting how, as a nation, we’re prone to indulging in a little self-care when we’re not feeling our best.

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The Cost of Gifting

Splashing out on others for anniversaries, birthdays and Christmas is one thing, but how much do people in the UK spend on gifting themselves?

The UK are more likely to splash their cash on their partners than anyone else, spending upwards of £100 on their loved ones for any given occasion. It’s the friends and family who get the cheapest presents; and whilst it’s still a generous amount, more than two thirds of people only spend up to £50 on their friends in comparison.

When it comes to self-gifting, over a quarter of people (26%) are willing to spend between £51-£100 on themselves compared to just 14% who are willing to spend this same amount on a friend.

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Top Self-Gifting Purchases

Whether saving up for a big purchase or buying on impulse for a little treat, it’s important to indulge yourself from time to. Our survey highlighted that more than half of respondents commonly purchase clothes for themselves as a gift, with food and drink, technology, accessories and jewellery completing the top five self-gifting purchases.

When it comes to the generational divide, we found that Millennials are most likely to gift themselves jewellery, followed by 35-44-year olds and GenZers.

Our survey also discovered that women often gift themselves clothes whilst men are more likely to buy themselves technology. However, when it comes to gifts for others, Brits are more likely to gift food and drink to their friends than any other present – you can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of bubbly to celebrate a special occasion!

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The focus on of self-care has rapidly increased over the last few years, not least as a result of the global pandemic that shook the world at the start of 2020. Our research into gifting trends and, more specifically, self-gifting, shows that people are taking to Google to search for ways to make themselves feel better.

Searches around self-care packages have increased by more than 3000% since 2017, and phrases like ‘treating myself’ are being searched nearly 2,000 times per month (on average), highlighting the changing behaviours and attitudes towards finding ways to look after ourselves. ‘Gifts for myself’ has increased by nearly 400% in the last four years, and our survey data shows that nearly 90% of Gen Z would treat themselves to gifts – the most out of any age group.

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The UK’s Gifting Trends

Finding the perfect gift for your friends or family can take time, and our research has found that people are taking to Google to search for specific gifting trends that they know their loved ones will enjoy.

Eco gifts is the first trend we discovered as having grown enormously over the last few years. On average, the UK is searching for ‘eco-friendly gifts’ nearly 3,000 times per month, with this search term increasing by 1210% since 2017. Search for ‘sustainable gifts’ has similarly high search volume (1,000 searches per month) and has increased by nearly 1500% over the last four years too. This highlights just how important ethical gifting is for many Brits when searching for that perfect gift.

As an extension of sustainable gifting, searches for lab-grown diamonds is another trend we have seen emerging through Google search data. The UK is searching for ‘synthetic diamonds’ 1,300 times per month on average, alongside ‘lab-grown diamonds’ 2,400 times per month – an increase of nearly 1000% since 2017. For those looking to purchase a diamond as a gift for their loved one, a man-made diamond is the perfect alternative

for the eco-conscious, without compromising on quality or style. Learn about what lab-grown diamonds are and discover how each Pandora Brilliance stone is masterfully crafted and certified by the 4Cs of diamonds.

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Our survey gives more insight into how the UK feels about buying diamonds – real or man-made, and Gen Zers are the age group most likely to gift a diamond ring. More than three quarters of respondents said they would give a diamond - real or lab-grown - in a relationship, and we discovered that the average time to gift a diamond to a partner is after 2.5 years. When it comes to self-gifting diamonds, we discovered that those living in the West Midlands purchase diamonds as gifts for themselves more than buying them for for family members, partners or friends, and more than a third of those in the North West say they have bought a diamond for themselves.

It’s not just eco gifts and man-made diamonds that are trending in the UK, as we also discovered the nation’s love for finding the ultimate gift for their perfect pooches and favourite felines too.

A quarter of respondents said they have spent more money on gifts for their pets than they have for other humans in their lives. The increase in searches for presents for pets has also increased enormously, with phrases like ‘dog gifts’ being searched nearly 4,500 times per month and increasing by nearly 200% since 2017. It’s a similar story for ‘cat presents’, which has an average search volume of nearly 2,000 per month, and ‘gift for pet’, which has also increased by almost 200% over the last few years.

Whether you’re buying a gift for your partner, pet, friend or relative, make sure to treat yourself on occasion too with an act of self-care. Our PANDORA jewellery is the perfect treat for a little pick me up, and our new PANDORA Brilliance collection of sustainably lab-created diamonds makes the perfect gift from you to you.


Nationally representative survey of 2000 respondents aged 16+ in UK in April 2021. The survey was conducted from a random sample of UK adults by Censuswide.

Google search data collated from 2017-2021.