Belfast Telegraph

Stocking staple satsumas 'pushed out as gadgets take over'

Gadgets such as smartphones and fitness bands are easing out old favourites such as chocolate coins and satsumas when it comes to filling a traditional Christmas stocking, research suggests.

Around one in four (26%) adults are considering putting this type of technology, also including tablets and action cameras, into a stocking for a loved one this Christmas, a survey has found.

The research, from Barclaycard, also asked parents of children aged under 18 how much they will spend in total on the contents of their child's Christmas stocking this year, excluding larger gifts that might be placed under a Christmas tree. T he average estimated cost of a child's Christmas stocking was put at £71.

The research suggests the cost of a child's Christmas stocking peaks when they are 15, with parents of a 15-year-old typically expecting to fill their stocking with £119-worth of items.

Over a quarter (27%) of parents surveyed said they will buy an on-trend toy as they feel under pressure from pester power and a third (32%) say that they will buy an expensive gift or gadget this year because their child has talked about it for a long time.

Barclaycard found that while traditional items such as satsumas and chocolate coins are still common stocking fillers, their popularity appears to be declining.

Only one in five (20%) adults will pack a satsuma into a loved one's Christmas stocking this year - but twice as many (45%) said they had received one as a child.

While just under one in 10 (9%) adults had woken up to high-tech items in their stocking when they were a child, one in five (19%) would now put one of these items in a stocking this Christmas.

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said the contents of a Christmas stocking "have firmly kept pace with technology".

He said: "This year's lucky recipients are just as likely to pull out an Apple as they are a satsuma, or find a GoPro alongside chocolate coins."

The research also found that people typically stop receiving a stocking at the age of 19 years old - but one more than one in 10 (12%) adults aged over 30 still expect to receive one this year.

Anne-Marie O'Leary, editor-in-chief of Netmums, said: "For many families Christmas wouldn't be the same without the traditional stocking, no matter how old we are.

"As we know from talking to parents, if children are used to seeing us using smartphones and tablets at home - common-place in most households nowadays - they're bound to want to get connected themselves, which is why they're increasingly making their way into Christmas stockings."

More than 2,000 adults from across the UK were surveyed for the research in November, as well as 1,000 parents of children aged under 18 years old.

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