MasterCard’s Annual Treat Index shows that Brits are increasingly treating themselves as spending on luxury goods increases by over 13% year on year

LONDON, UK – 30th January 2015 – Research released today from the second annual MasterCard Treat Index, shows that amid the cold and gloom, many of us will be indulging in a treat or two to cheer ourselves up. This year Brits say they are more willing to splash their cash on the perfect pick-me-up: 41% of us Brits say we’ll buy treats to bring us cheer, versus 38% last year.

Perhaps contrary to popular belief, men spend more on treats for themselves, and treat themselves more often than women. With 18% of men spending more than £100 each time they treat themselves, and just 8% of women doing so. Furthermore, the findings show men treat themselves more often than women, with 27% of men and 18% of women treating themselves more than once a month. Men are also almost twice as likely to buy a treat at least once a week (15.5%) compared to women (8%).

However, it’s women who seem to truly embrace the power of treats to brighten their mood. More than one in three men in the UK (37%) said they buy treats to cheer themselves up, whilst almost half of all women do (47%) – showing that while women aren’t spending as much, they are getting more joy from their purchases.

Mark Barnett, President of MasterCard UK and Ireland, commented: “As consumers financial situations gradually improve, they are looking to take advantage of any extra money and treat themselves. Interestingly, over the last year we have seen an increase of around 13% spent on luxury items, such as jewellery, and this trend looks set to continue, backing up the evidence of a genuine recovery in consumer confidence and UK retailing.”

London department store Selfridges has also seen a similar trend occurring in store, with the opening of their new Men’s Personal Shopping area exceeding projections by over 30% to date – proving men are more willing than ever to treat themselves.

Sales of other luxury treat items which are also on the rise at Selfridges include;

  • Pierre Herme Macarons (RRP £25) – sales up 463%
  • Luxury chocolate category – sales up 30% year on year
  • Pierre Marcolini luxury chocolates and gift boxes (RRP £22) – sales up by 42%
  • Champagne – sales up 30% year on year
  • Truffle Cheeses – sales up by 14%

The results from the MasterCard survey also suggest that men in the UK spend more on experiences, and use treats as a way to enhance the joy of ‘play days’: 21% say they treat themselves at weekends, versus 16% for women. This indicates men may associate treats with making the most of downtime; whereas women may view treats as a way to bring a bit of cheer to everyday life.

Polling over 15,000 people across 17 countries, the European wide research by MasterCard found that while both sexes increasingly value the power of treats, The most ‘treat-happy’ men and women in Europe hail from Turkey, with a whopping 67% saying treats bring them cheer.

The European wide study revealed other insights about how our approach to treating ourselves varies across countries and by age group;

o   Swedes are more likely to feel guilty when they treat themselves (21%), while Turks (8%) and Russians (9%) are least likely to

o   Turks (71%) are most likely to treat themselves at least once a month, while Czechs (27%) are least likely to treat themselves this frequently

o   Millennials are nearly twice as likely (60%) as Boomers (34%) to treat themselves once a month or more frequently

o   Timing is also a factor with Millennials more than twice as likely to buy treats at the weekend (21%), after a hard day at work (20%), or pay day (25%), compared to Boomers at 14%, 7% and 14% respectively

Notes to editors

The research was conducted by Toluna across 17 countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary and Romania. 15,129 consumers were polled between October 1st and 15th, 2014.

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA),,is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews,join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.


James Thorpe – / 020 7557 5430

Nicola Hanley – / 020 7611 3597