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Young Thanksgiving Shoppers Seek Deals

Forty-four percent of Gen Z and younger Millennials will be looking for deals when grocery shopping for Thanksgiving meals, according to a report from data insights company Circana. The inaugural Thanksgiving Tracker evaluates holiday-related consumer behavior and purchasing trends.

The week before and the week of Thanksgiving are critical sales drivers, although consumers also shop early for spot deals, according to Circana. While inflation of the Thanksgiving basket has eased to an increase of 1.7 percent since 2022, consumers are unlikely to notice, given the 27.4 percent jump in prices since 2019.

“Manufacturers and retailers have the opportunity to help consumers, many of whom continue to buy on deal, celebrate Thanksgiving as they always have by understanding their specific needs and targeting promotions effectively,” said Joan Driggs, VP of content and thought leadership at Circana, in a statement. “There is also significant value in gaining a complete view of consumers and their purchasing strategies, such as plans to source dishes from both home and retail as well as restaurant and foodservice.”

Trends for 2023 revealed in the new Circana report include:

• Roughly 79 percent report they and their families will celebrate Thanksgiving with the usual traditions.

• Approximately 34 percent of those who plan to celebrate state they expect to pay more for groceries but will purchase the same amount as last year.

Looking back at the previous year, Thanksgiving provided a $2.8 billion sales lift in 2022 compared to the average week, the second largest food holiday of the year, surpassed only by the Christmas sales lift of $6.2 billion. A similar momentum is also expected this year.

Some additional trends from 2022 that the analytics firm expects to continue through this year include:

• Roughly 79 percent of the total four-week Thanksgiving sales uplift took place in the week before and the week of Thanksgiving,

• The Thanksgiving basket of 30 categories drove $2.1 billion, or 75 percent, of the sales uplift, despite representing only 9 percent of sales for those weeks,

• The percent of sales sold on promotion for last year’s Thanksgiving basket almost doubled to 50 percent, but the average discount depth was similar to the rest of the year,

• Ten percent of Thanksgiving meal occasions had an item sourced from a restaurant or foodservice.

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