What you need to know

In 2019, more than half of Canadians entertained guests at their homes, but that activity has declined precipitously in 2020 due to the risks posed by COVID-19. Nevertheless, despite the considerable challenges for this industry, many Canadians have still hosted amid social distancing protocols – showing how valuable and important this behaviour is to them. As a result, consumers will be looking to companies for guidance and solutions to help them continue to entertain at home as safely as possible.

The analysis in this Report looks at how many consumers hosted during the first six months of the pandemic. It also takes a forward-looking approach to understand what products consumers are considering in order to host safely. And specifically, this Report analyses the upcoming winter holidays, with a particular focus on Christmas and what steps Canadians are prepared to take to ensure they can gather with loved ones.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • Hosting behaviour in the first six months of the pandemic.

  • Purchases that consumers are more inclined to make in response to hosting during the pandemic – as well as measures they expect to be taken at gatherings they host or attend.

  • Sources of influence for entertaining at home ideas – specifically related to word-of-mouth, online and retailer merchandising.

  • Consumer feelings and emotions about hosting during the pandemic, as well as a look ahead to how they expect to feel once the pandemic is over.

This Report was written from September 28-October 27, 2020. Consumer research was fielded August 13-26, 2020.


This Report covers behaviours related to hosting guests at one’s home and uses the following definitions of these terms:

  • Entertaining at home: hosting guests at one’s home, including secondary homes like cottages.

  • Social distancing protocols/regulations: government rules and/or recommendations that began in mid-March 2020, specifically related to the number of people allowed at a social gathering.

Back to top