Ready to make gift baskets but don’t know what to buy? Here’s a list of foods and gifts on your gift basket shopping list.

Beer for birthday

Three bottles of beer, pretzels, dip, cheese, beef sausage, and nuts.

That’s what a woman recently chose for me to arrange in an ice bucket to celebrate her son’s birthday.

She knew his taste, selected products he could open and eat right away, and asked me to place all of it in a container he could use in his home.

I placed the beers next to each other in back of the bucket and put the other items in front. The entire gift was wrapped in cellophane and closed with a plaid-colored bow.

There’s no doubt that the son appreciated and enjoyed the gift. Why? Because the woman knew her son’s preferences.

She didn’t choose wine, chocolates, pasta, or candy. She selected items that he enjoys.

This woman’s selection is a role model for the foods and gifts you choose for your gift baskets. You must know what the people you make gift baskets for enjoy. If you don’t you’ll pick the wrong products, waste time and money, and become frustrated because no one wants what you have.

How to choose

There are some items you can buy right from the start. Lots of them are in this article that reveals where to find gift basket products. However, there are caveats to those choices, too. Here are examples.

  • Cookies are a great choice. Will you buy sugar, chocolate chip, or shortbread?
  • Popcorn is terrific. However, is butter, cheese, or caramel the preferred flavor?
  • Nuts are a favorite. Will peanuts, cashews, almonds, or mixed nuts be your choice?

When I was growing up, Cheerios was my cereal choice. If someone requests Cheerios today, you must ask which flavor is their favorite because the original batch may not be what they want.

Gift Baskets Shopping List, by Shirley George Frazier.

I remind my daughter about this current expansive option every time she asks me to buy Oreos, bread, and potato chips. There is a lot of variety on today’s supermarket shelves.

The same is true when you shop for gift basket foods and gifts. You must know what people enjoy before you buy. Making incorrect choices too many times results in wasted product and money, too.

Favorite foods and gifts

Gift Baskets: Your Shopping List to Buy Everything to Make Gorgeous Gifts for All Occasions provides lots of visuals that show you, in color detail, which types of foods and gifts pair well together in baskets and containers.

Here’s a short list of what I find to be very popular with my customers, but keep in mind that this is what my clients like. You’ll have to learn about preferences the customers in your location want most.


  • Champagne crackers
  • Brie cheese
  • Cheese popcorn
  • Beef summer sausage
  • Unsalted cashews
  • Chamomile tea
  • Dunkin’ Donuts coffee
  • Smoked salmon
  • Ghirardelli hot chocolate
  • Pyramid-shaped chocolates


  • Silver 4″x6″ picture frame
  • Baby blankets, any color
  • Brass business card holder
  • Unscented soap and lotion
  • Miniature books, all subjects
  • Flower and vegetable seeds
  • Gardening tools
  • Journals with inspirational phrases on the cover
  • Personalized drinking mug
  • Adult coloring books

The right foods and gifts on your gift basket shopping list

My list can change at any time, so I stay in contact with my customers to continue learning about trends they follow. This is something I wish I had done at the beginning. or I would not have thrown out so many items that were not of interest.

This is a trait you’ll want to do, too, to make sure you buy what your customers want to give to others. If you make gift baskets as a hobby, it’s just as important to buy what the recipient enjoys, not what you enjoy.

What’s on your gift basket list?