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Twitching, knitting, poetry and baking - how we are a nation of talented individuals

Press release   •   Mar 17, 2016 10:00 GMT

The average Brit spent £386* in the last year on hobbies, interests and developing their skills and talents – the traits deemed most important when it comes to expressing our individuality, new research* from Nectar reveals.

And it seems our talents know no bounds, especially for the younger millennials** with one in five actively painting or drawing, one in ten knitting or crocheting and everything from astronomy, bird watching, baking and stamp collecting, being pursued in an attempt to be or do something different.

After our choice of hobbies, use of vocabulary and choice in partner are seen as the most important traits in making us individual and defining the way that we express this to others.

To coincide with the launch of its mobile app, where customers can receive offers as individual as they are, Nectar conducted this research into what makes Britain a nation of individuals, something that’s also being celebrated on social media via its #makesmeME campaign.

With over 92% of us happy and confident to label ourselves as ‘individual’, the key reasons for our proud expressionism can be attributed to advances in technology – exposure to inspiration on the internet (49%), the ability to purchase anything from anywhere online (36%), cheaper world travel to immerse in other cultures (35%) and the rise in social media both as a source of inspiration (25%) and as a channel to show-off (22%).

The growing trend of on demand streaming and boxsets in film & TV score highly as a source of inspiration for the younger millennials (37%) whereas the ability to travel around the world due to cheaper travel and greater access is more important for the over 55s (41%).

Dr Harry Witchel, Discipline Leader in Physiology at the Brighton & Sussex Medical School says: “We’re all clearly individual, but how we set about demonstrating our personality is something which creates debate and conversation. We’re living in a generation with access to more or less anything we want, whenever we want – so the pressure to stand out from the crowd is even more intense, even if we aren’t actively looking to be different.

“It’s often said that true beauty lies within and never before has it been so appropriate. While more and more are going to great lengths to physically express themselves, this research shows that it’s the intricacies of everything we do, from the way we speak to the hobbies we pursue, that personify us – and this is what really makes us who we are. As a nation we say; ‘I’m proud do this and it makes me me’.”

With millennials more likely (41%) to proactively express their individuality compared to the average Brit, they are also the biggest group who would like to do more (71%) to express their individuality, whereas only a third of the older generation of over 55s want to do the same.

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Notes to Editors:


*Independent research commissioned by Nectar of 2001 UK residents (11-12 Feb 2016, CensusWide)

**young millennials 16-24 year olds (all millennials 16-34 years old)