Your Christmas Dinner in numbers

Anna Allgaier

Tis the season to eat a lot of yummy food, so Wise has teamed up with the food-and-culture expert and Chef, Mallika Basu as part of our Christmas Without Borders campaign. In 2020 alone, 281 million international expats were living abroad - that’s 3.6% of the world’s population. The richness multiculturalism brings to all of our lives is undeniable, and as the UK becomes a fabulous melting pot of cultures, our Christmas dinner has gotten an upgrade.

Mallika has put together a merry medley of five festive recipes for us, but we’ve also gone ahead and asked 2,000 adults across the UK about how they dine and celebrate this time of year.

It isn’t just about what we eat that’s changing.. As we embrace international living, many of us travel for the holidays, spend them with friends in our new home away from home, or find a way to connect with family abroad. Festivities have gone global even when we’re keeping it local.

If you’re one of the people travelling or transferring money overseas, we can help with that. Over 60% of our transfers happen within 20 seconds. Humble brag.

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Together with insight-driven research company, Censuswide, we surveyed 2,000 adults over the age of 16, across the UK. I know you’d expect a finance company to be asking people about payments, but we decided to ask people about Turkey instead. Speaking of which, if you’re looking to send money to Turkey this Xmas, here you go.

Now we’ve enjoyed my not-so-smooth segway,let’s dive into some dinner data.

What do people eat on Christmas Day and Boxing Day?

59% of our lovely respondents have seen new flavours come into Christmas dinner over the past five years, with 22% noticing new spices and seasonings. So, while 34.45% of people still eat the classic roast with all the trimmings, we’re clearly upping our food game across the nation. (No disrespect to the roast. I love a roast. Don’t @ me).

Leftovers is a pretty unforgiving name. I personally think Lasagna and Chilli taste significantly better on day 2. Anyway, 26.15% of people turn their leftovers into a new dish the day after Xmas. We’re talking currys, stews, pastas. How wonderful.

10.8% of people opt for takeout food, which isn’t a bad idea for people with my cooking abilities.

Here’s the cuisines we consume on both days

  • Traditional British - 76.00%
  • South Asian - 3.45%
  • Caribbean - 2.45%
  • African - 4.20%
  • Western/Central European (excluding British) - 3.70%
  • East and South East Asian - 2.00%
  • Middle Eastern - 1.50%
  • South or Central American - 0.85%

A breakdown of gorgeous gifts and global guests

The festive season is all about family, community, and spreading the good vibes. Some keep it local, others cast the net wider, and catch up with friends and family across borders.

Who’s around the dinner table?

  • Immediate family - 59.80%
  • Extended family - 17.35%
  • Friends - 13.40%
  • Family or friends from overseas - 9.75%
  • Getting together with another family for their Christmas celebration - 4.90%
  • Sitting down with the Neighbours - 4.75%
  • Going overseas to be with family and friends - 1.40%
  • Popping off on holiday - 1.35%

Christmas giving and gifting has gotten a makeover too..

Almost one in five people (that’s 18%) open their doors to friends and neighbours and 15% of young adults between the ages of 16-24 now make festive food for their local community.

Here’s how we’re gifting, giving and getting together

Putting money received as a present into my savings - 18.40%
Touching base with family and friends overseas with a video call - 17.55%

  • Buying prezzies or contributing to charity - 13.35%
  • Buying gifts for neighbours - 11.45%
  • Sending money overseas as a gift - 7.95%
  • Buying or cooking food to share with the local community - 7.20%
  • Buying items from overseas online for a touch of home - 5.90%
  • Travelling overseas to see family and/or friends - 5.00%
  • Likely to get money from overseas as a gift - 4.60%

Well, you've plunged headfirst into the merry world of Christmas data, so I guess you're ready to eat now...

Show me the food

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