2020-06-15 07:00Press release

Hobbies on the rise

New hobbies on the rise

Brits branch out to keep busy during lockdown

From breadmaking, gaming, sewing, to reading, PriceRunner reveals insights into how the nation has kept themselves entertained during lockdown

The UK’s largest price comparison site has reported rocketing demand for products which indicate the nation is branching out in hobbies, by taking up new interests as lockdown continues.

With extra time on our hands at home and unlimited outdoor exercise now allowed in parts of the UK, PriceRunner has revealed data that provides an insight into how our online shopping habits are changing as a result.

Searching and comparing all manner of items, from musical instruments, breadmakers to trampolines, it appears that Brits are learning new skills and turning homes into a hub of entertainment and activity.

As shopping habits diversify and the lockdown continues to provide more time to spare than usual, it looks as though these new interests are here to stay. According to new research, commissioned by Vital for PriceRunner, nearly a quarter (22%) of Brits have picked up new hobbies, which they will continue to do this summer.

The new survey of over 2,000 UK adults also revealed that almost a fifth of Brits (19%) plan to do activities in place of their summer holiday. This could mean that many of us will spend the holiday season continuing to invest time indoors and out, from bike rides to water sports and more.

Consumer Expert for PriceRunner, Anna Lavfors, commented –

Anna Lavfors, consumer expert

“With an unprecedented amount of time at home, it makes sense that many of us are looking for new ways to stay entertained, but it is brilliant to see such a diverse range of hobbies and interests being taken up. The huge increase we have seen in visitors and the surges for categories that relate to hobbies indicates that shoppers are spending more time doing their research, browsing for the best price and product before making a purchase.

 Having more time means more hobbies to try. These are more important than ever, allowing us some time to switch off from the world around us but also, to enjoy quality time as a household, whether that’s puzzling over a jigsaw, teaching your children to play your favourite musical instruments or cooking as a couple.

 Even as lockdown begins to ease, there is no telling when, if ever, thing will go back to the way they were before, and the hobbies we are investing time in – from baking, cycling, indoor fitness and so on – will provide skills and entertainment for the long term.”

Homing in on trending hobbies…

  • Cooking & Baking - Proving to be a popular way to keep busy, many of us are turning to cooking and baking as a way of utilising time at home. It appears that we are keen to get kitchens equipped with tools to help us in our newfound hobby, with search increases up 1605% for hand mixers, 679% for hand blenders and 633% for food mixers and food processors. Breadmakers are one of the top 10 most searched categories, with 8720% search increase.
  • Making Music – Learning to play a musical instrument may have been at the top of the lockdown to do list, with the category as a whole up 596%. As clubs and bars continue to remain closed, the demand for DJ Players is huge, featuring in the top 10 categories for growth and up 8362%. Studio & recording equipment increased by 351%.
  • Sewing – Once a household fixture, sewing machines appear to be making a return. Up 981% on last year, could 2020 be the year we return to repairing rather than replacing, or is lockdown inspiring a wave of future designers?
  • Reading - As we enjoy some more down time, reading a book is a great way to spend some time away from screens. With a 228% YoY increase in searches for books, it would appear that many of us agree, as the perfect portable companion for a trip to the park.
  • Cleaning - Perhaps inspired by cleaning Queen Mrs Hinch and her fellow Hinchers, cleaning supplies have seen 698% growth as Brits ensure homes look and feel their best.
  • Fitness - With the closure of gyms, finding alternative ways to keep fit has become a priority. Fitness Machines and Fitness Equipment are 2 of the top 3 categories that have seen the biggest YoY increase. Fitness Machines saw nearly 100 times more searches than the same period of 2019.
  • Gardening – As summer comes into bloom, Brits are making the most of any outdoor space they have and looking to fill gardens with colour, browsing for plants increased 1767%.
  • Gaming –   Lockdown has seen an increase in searches for both Jigsaw Puzzles (2063%) and Board Games (1712%) as households looks for ways to stay entertained. Video games offer hours of entertainment and is at a record high -   Games consoles up 1645%, Gaming chairs up 781%, Gaming accessories up 1156%.
  • Camping – With travel abroad and overnight stays in the UK not currently allowed under lockdown guidelines, some Brits are either setting up camp in their very own gardens or planning for the eventuality that only domestic holidays will be permitted for 2020, with Camping searches up 512% YoY.
  • Outdoor sport – Now the nation can take unlimited outdoor exercise, activities such as golf, kayaking, tennis and paddle boarding can be enjoyed once more. The changes seem to have inspired many to research some new hobby purchases, with categories growing in demand for Golf (485%), Water Sports (135%), Bikes (1354%) and Sportswear (485%).

The go to independent price comparison website helps millions of visitors find the best products at the best prices, with hundreds of leading brands and retailers featured and deals and promotions updated daily. On average, shoppers can save 30 to 40% just by comparing prices and choosing the cheapest retailer.

Whether you are a beginner baker, semi pro golfer or late-night gamer, visit pricerunner.com to browse over 1.6 million products from 4,000 retailers.


Notes to Editors

  • Survey data - Conducted by Vital Research for PriceRunner. The research was carried out online between 15th May 2020 and 18th May 2020. The sample comprised 2,015 UK adults All research conducted adheres to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019)
  • Stats depicted relate to the YoY increase in category searches, from the period 1st March 2020 – 28th May 2020, source PriceRunner UK

About PriceRunner

PriceRunner is UK's independent price comparison service with over 1,600,000 products. PriceRunner was founded in 1999 and is active primarily in Sweden, Denmark and UK. We are a team of 130 ambitious PriceRunners who work to develop the most loved service for comparison shopping. PriceRunner is completely independent; we are not owned by or dependent on any manufacturer, retailer or other organisation that might have an interest in providing biased information. PriceRunner's mission is to help consumers find better products and better prices. Every month we help hundreds of thousands of consumers to find better, cheaper products and save money by comparing prices for a particular product.