Picnics are rising in popularity amid the pandemic. Companies that provide picnic packages — often for special occasions such as wedding anniversaries — say the demand is driven by prohibitions on leisure travel under Covid-19 and a renewed interest in exploring the outdoors. This has led Singapore residents to seek new experiences locally, such as fancy picnics. Another draw of catered picnics is how hassle-free they are, compared with doing it yourself.
Picnic providers offer everything from food, drinks and picnic mats; wine and candle-lit dinners; to full-on decor such as fairy lights, helium balloons, message boards, flowers and backdrops. Prices start from a basic $80 and go up to about $300. Extras can be added – such as professional photography or bartender service – for $200 more.
Love4picnic & Glamping Associate, a firm that offers picnic and glamping services, has seen a 20 per cent rise in demand compared to last year. Its picnic packages start from $80. Its founder, Ms Sitisarah Shamsudin, says: “Due to the strict measures concerning travel, people did not have the option of going overseas for birthday celebrations or wedding proposals.
“Most of our customers find that picnics are affordable, but at the same time, they can be luxurious, romantic and grand. There is less hassle and you can go to parks without paying for rent at other venues.”
Ms Sarah Sathyamoorthi, director of Pie in the Sky Picnics, says business doubled in phase two, when some Covid-19 restrictions were eased, compared with before Covid-19. Their prices start from $160 for two persons. She says: “We used to see bookings and enquiries mainly on weekends, but now we get bookings for weekdays as well.”
Another home-grown company, Picneeds, has laid out about 38 picnics a month since the pandemic, compared to 30 a month before. The basic Picneeds package costs $190. Its popular Bachelorette: Fling Before The Ring set, which includes a sash, tiara and a helium balloon bouquet, costs $265.
Mrs Lubby Young, 31, stumped out for a basic picnic package from Picneeds as a birthday surprise for her husband earlier this month. The marketing consultant added some champagne and cold cuts to the mix, and says their picnic looked like “a classic English tea set-up”. “We always go to restaurants for special occasions. This was something different. There is no way I could have done it, other than bringing a picnic mat,” says the mother of a five-month-old girl.
Besides, she adds, picnics are inherently Covid-friendly. “It’s socially distanced if you are having a picnic at a park. It sounds public, but you actually have a lot of privacy.”