It's all about dad

Gift givers are planning to spend more than ever this Father's Day, according to the latest Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation (NRF) survey of 8,789 consumers in May by BIGinsight. Total spending for Father's Day is expected to reach $12.7 billion.


The average person will spend $117.14 on dad's gifts this year, up 10 percent from $106.49 last year, according to NRF's 2012 Father's Day spending survey. That's closing the gap between its biggest competitor: Mother's Day (consumers planned to spend an average of $152 on the holiday). Consumers plan to splurge on a variety of gifts, and more people this year will treat dad to a special outing, such as golfing, eating out or heading to a sporting event ($2.3 billion vs. $2 billion in 2011). They will also invest in electronic gift items ($1.7 billion vs. $1.3 billion last year) and apparel ($1.7 billion vs. $1.4 billion in 2011). Others will splurge on gift cards ($1.7 billion), sporting goods ($641 million) and books or music ($645 million).


When it comes to the number of men people plan to buy for this Father's Day, the survey found consumers are likely to consider a variety of types of dads this year. Most people will buy for their father or stepfather (53.9 percent vs. 50.3 percent in 2011) and their husband (29.2 percent vs. 26.1 percent last year). Others will treat their son (9.7 percent), grandfather (5.3 percent), brother (6.8 percent) and friend (5.7 percent) to something nice.

"It should come as no surprise that dads are considerably more laid back when it comes to their special day, opting most times to simply spend quality time with loved ones at a restaurant or at home in the backyard," said BIGinsight consumer insights director Pam Goodfellow. "But this Father's Day it's evident that consumers want to thank dad for the support and undivided attention he provides throughout the year."


Department stores will be the location of choice for shoppers this Father's Day - four in 10 (41.6 percent) say they will look for dad's gift there. Others will shop at discount stores (34 percent), specialty stores including greeting card/gift and electronics stores (28.6 percent), and specialty clothing stores (10.7 percent). Online retailers will see their fair share of "traffic" this year as well - nearly three in 10 (28.4 percent) will shop online, up from 22.1 percent who said so last year.


And what foods does dad love? Current "buzz" scores from YouGov BrandIndex, which tracks perceptions of more than 1,100 brands on a daily basis, show brands offering the simpler pleasures in life -- like candy, subs and snacks -- leading the rankings of those best-perceived by fathers, reports Media Post. As of June 12, M&M's was No 1, with a buzz score of 69.1, followed by Subway (61.6) and Snickers (61.1). Other food brands getting the nod from dads include Planters (No. 5, at 59.6) and Cheerios (No. 6, at 59.3). Three alcohol brands made notable gains in perception. Grey Goose's buzz score rose by 22.1 points (from 8.7 to 30.8); Corona's rose 19.4 points (from 10.1 to 29.5); and Absolut's also rose 19.4 points (from 8.7 to 28.1).


For a special treat, Vosges Haut-Chocolat has put booze in the bonbons for dad, reports The New York Times. The company has packed an assortment in a handsome vintage-style cigar box. There are two sleek dark chocolate bars with a thin filling of gooey caramel flavored with stout; a box of nine chocolate truffles with rye whiskey, Scotch, bourbon or chocolate stout ganache inside (the Scotch, a smoky Islay, is the most assertive); some nonalcoholic peanut butter bonbons; and caramels with and without bacon. Vosges Haut-Chocolat Kiril and the Duke assortment is $65 at Vosges retail stores and from

Happy Father's Day!