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Shoppers are seeking deals on their Thanksgiving dinner this year

Consumers are gearing up to buy the same amount of food, but still pay more for their holiday meal this month.
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Francis Scialabba

· 3 min read

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Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.

This Thanksgiving, consumers will continue to fill their shopping baskets with standard feast fare like turkey and pies, but as prices remain elevated, they’re keeping an eye out for deals.

Whether they’re making it all homemade or buying heat-and-eat, 90% of Thanksgiving meals are purchased from retail and made at home, according to data from consumer research company Circana’s Thanksgiving Tracker. The holiday is “the second-largest food holiday of the year” behind Christmas, and last year, shoppers spent $2.8 billion more on food for Thanksgiving dinner than during an average week, per Circana.

  • According to consumer insights company Numerator’s Holiday Preview, US shoppers will spend between $100 and $200 on Thanksgiving. Three-quarters will shop at grocery stores, 37% at mass retailers, and 29% at club or wholesale stores.

Inflation on Thanksgiving food is up 27% from 2019, so consumers are prepared to spend a bit more $$ for their holiday feast. According to Circana, 34% of consumers expect to pay more for the same amount of food they’ve bought in previous years. Still, inflation on the Thanksgiving basket from 2022 is less noticeable, up just 1.7%, compared to a 27.4% jump since 2019. Beverage prices are up 5.4% YoY, compared to a 25.1% increase from 2019, while turkey prices are down 1.1%, though still up 21.5% from before the pandemic. While pie prices are up a whopping 48.6% since 2019, prices are actually down 0.2% from last year.

Retailers that offer discounts and promotions will attract shoppers, Circana said, especially during the week before Thanksgiving, when consumers typically buy main dishes like turkey and ham, and the week of the holiday, when they’ll grab beverages, pies, and baking ingredients. In 2022, pies and sides saw the largest sales lift among Thanksgiving products sold on promotion, both in the week prior to and week of Thanksgiving.

  • According to Circana, promotions are particularly important to younger shoppers; 44% of Gen Z and younger millennials will be eyeing deals as they shop for their holiday meal.

Sweet deal: Several grocery retailers this year have been competing to offer consumers Thanksgiving dinner deals. Target is marketing a Thanksgiving Dinner for four for $25, and Walmart is “removing inflation” with a Thanksgiving meal that’s cheaper than in 2022, the retailer said, with prices ranging from around $46 for four servings to $142 for 24 servings. Lidl, meanwhile, is offering a 10-person Thanksgiving dinner for under $30, and Aldi said it reduced prices on a selection of seasonal staples by up to 50%.

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.