What you need to know

In the US, more than 177 million adults hosted parties or gatherings in their homes in 2019. However, social gatherings have all but disappeared since COVID-19 became a risk. As restrictions relax and consumers grow weary of staying apart from loved ones, hosts will look for ways to get their closest friends and family together safely. As the pandemic recedes and the economy recovers, entertaining at home will be a safer and more affordable alternative to eating and drinking with friends at bars, restaurants or other indoor establishments.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on home entertaining and party hosting

  • Potential recessionary implications for the future of home entertaining

  • Key occasions and motivations for entertaining at home

  • Consumers’ level of comfort with hosting and attending gatherings while COVID-19 is still a risk


Hosts: within the context of Mintel consumer data, the group of adults who hosted a gathering at their home in 2019. Hosts may be male or female.

Attendees: within the context of Mintel consumer data, the group of adults who attended a party or social gathering in a home or in a public place in 2019.

For the purposes of this Report, the following occasions were described to survey respondents with these details (not displayed in full in this Report):

  • Sports viewing (eg Super Bowl)

  • Another holiday (eg New Year’s)

  • TV/movie viewing (eg movie night, season finale)

  • Other informal get-togethers (eg book club, potluck)

  • Milestone-related (eg housewarming, retirement, baby shower)

COVID-19: market context

This Report was written between August 8 and 21, 2020. Consumer research was fielded in April 2020 and reflects consumer attitudes at the start of the pandemic period. 

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic, and on March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in the US. 

Across the US, state-level stay-at-home orders rolled out throughout the months of March and April, and nonessential businesses and school districts across the nation closed or shifted to remote operations. At the time of writing, all 50 states have relaxed restrictions, allowing businesses to operate with varying levels of social distancing measures in place. However, a resurgence of COVID-19 infections has driven some states to slow down or reverse course on reopening plans.

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