Mars Wrigley's Extra gum has unveiled the results of seasonal survey that highlights the most common-yet-uncomfortable interactions experienced by many during holiday celebrations.

Conducted by KRC Research, Extra gum surveyed 1,004 U.S. adult consumers around the most loaded conversations and social situations we all dread during the holiday season. Tapping into the brand's "Chew It Before You Do It" campaign, the mission of the survey is to find shared comedic relief around common seasonal moments and to encourage taking a momentary pause with Extra gum before responding or reacting to any less-than-joyous experiences this year.

Spanning a mix of adults across Gen Z, millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers, the survey found that generations have more in common than you'd think. Key findings include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults have experienced uncomfortable social moments during the holidays.
    • The most common awkward moment reported was forcing a smile while opening an undesired gift (42%), ranking the highest amongst Gen Z (62%) and millennials (52%).
  • Nearly all of Gen Z expect to be asked about their relationship prospects, future aspirations and career plans this holiday season
    • More than half of U.S. adults as a whole expect to hear at least one difficult question about their future or personal life when visiting family.    
  • Nearly half of U.S. adults struggle to figure out what to talk about with their relatives
    • The holidays are particularly uncomfortable for younger adults, with more than half of Gen Z (57%) and millennials (52%) reporting this as a top awkward holiday moment.    
  • Is spending extended time with certain family members more challenging than others? More than half of U.S. adults (58%) report the same.
    • Gen Z and millennials have the lowest threshold for extended family time, with three out of four reporting that they can't even last a day with their "loved ones."
  • The award for best forced smile at dinner goes to… one-third of U.S. adults, who say they've pretended to enjoy a relative's cooking
    • On the cooking side, nearly one-fourth of U.S. adults have brought a dish to a holiday gathering that people either didn't eat or enjoy.

"At Mars, we're all about inspiring moments of everyday happiness and through Extra's seasonal survey, we hope we can bring smiles to gum fans by showing that we're all in this together and many are experiencing similar situations," said Rosemary Nocito, senior brand manager, Mars Wrigley. "For all of those uniquely interesting or awkward social interactions you may encounter this holiday season, we encourage everyone to take a moment before doing, saying or reacting — and Chew It Before You Do It."