18 December 2023

HSBC UK reveals top 20 international gifts this Christmas

A poll of 2,000 adults who celebrate Christmas found 88 per cent love getting goodies from abroad – with many hoping to unwrap a leather wallet or handbag from Italy on the 25th.

One in four would love to receive maple syrup from Canada, and 21 per cent have their eye on manuka honey from New Zealand.

While others want to unwrap a Spanish olive oil set, flower bulbs from the Netherlands, and speciality beers from Belgium.

The research was commissioned by HSBC UK and Global Money data from the bank shows customers have been spending the most money on online purchases from the USA in the twelve months since it launched, followed by Spain, France and the UAE.

Head of Everyday Banking, Pella Frost said: “During the holiday season, there's something truly magical about receiving gifts from abroad.

“It's not just about the contents of the parcel, it's about the sentiment behind it and the effort the gift giver has put into sourcing something extra special for a loved one.

“As an international bank, we know consumers have more international tastes and interests than ever before, which is why so many are eager to experience something truly authentic from the countries we love.”

The study also found half feel like receiving a gift from abroad makes it more unique, while for 28 per cent, it is often something they have never tried before.

Whereas 43 per cent reckon it just feels a little fancier getting a gift which has travelled from overseas.
It also emerged 43 per cent of Christmas lovers have gifted presents from abroad in the past, with 82 per cent of these picking it up on their travels.

While 45 per cent went online to find that special something, the research conducted via OnePoll found.
In fact, 30 per cent are planning on wrapping up a foreign present this Christmas for a loved one, with France being the leading country UK shoppers are turning to for gift inspiration at Christmas.

It is followed by Italy and the USA – with the average shopper spending nearly £90 on items from abroad.

However, many have encountered barriers when it comes to shopping abroad, with 73 per cent finding the cost of delivery restrictive and 64 per cent worried about the time it takes to arrive.

While 45 per cent were unsure if sites were trusted retailers.

And 38 per cent have encountered additional charges because they haven’t paid in the local currency.

HSBC UK Global Money allows customers to convert, hold or send money to more than 200 countries and regions worldwide without paying HSBC fees and Pella Frost added: “It’s clear from our research that customers love the idea of giving and receiving gifts from outside the UK – but typically there are cost barriers.

“At a time when every penny counts, we want to make sure shoppers can spend their money globally without facing additional fees at the checkout.”

Most popular items that consumers are purchasing from websites outside the UK

International Christmas wishlist

  1. Swiss Chocolate
  2. Egyptian cotton bedding
  3. Perfume from France
  4. Leather handbags or wallets from Italy
  5. Canadian Maple Syrup
  6. Norwegian knitwear
  7. New Zealand manuka honey
  8. Indian spices and cooking set
  9. Spanish olive oil set
  10. Dutch Flower Bulbs
  11. Irish whiskey
  12. Australian natural skincare products
  13. Modern and minimalist home decor from Sweden
  14. Greek olive wood kitchenware
  15. Specialty beers from Belgium
  16. Chinese silk robe
  17. Thai silk scarves
  18. Peruvian Alpaca Wool Products
  19. Japanese Tea Set
  20. German beer steins

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Langston, HSBC UK Press Office: 07384 792 248 / hannah.langston@hsbc.com

HSBC UK serves over 14.75 million customers across the UK, supported by 24,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates.

HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories. With assets of $3,021bn at 30 September 2023, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.