Look Forward to Leftovers: Consumers Share Their Upcoming Thanksgiving Plans

While the probability of Turkey Trots are in question and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is still up in the air (literally), consumers are already planning what their November holidays will look like this year.   

In a survey of nearly 1,000 respondents, individuals answered questions about their plans for Thanksgiving this year and how these plans may differ from prior years. 

Thanksgiving gatherings

Who will consumers share their turkeys with?

Nearly 50 percent of survey respondents normally spend Thanksgiving with their immediate family, including people outside of their household. Another 23 percent of respondents usually celebrate Thanksgiving with only their household and 15 percent celebrate with extended family.

Of respondents that normally spend Thanksgiving with their immediate family, including people outside of their household, 32 percent are planning to spend Thanksgiving with fewer people than last year while 55 percent are planning to spend Thanksgiving with the same number of people as last year.

While it’s evident that many people are planning to participate in smaller gatherings, most will still spend the holiday with the same number of people as last year.

Hosting Thanksgiving

Respondents who are planning to host Thanksgiving this year are predominately hosting for their household only. Another 38 percent of respondents who are hosting Thanksgiving this year are planning to host for their immediate family, including people outside of their household.

Only nine percent and seven percent of people are planning to host Thanksgiving for their extended family or extended family and friends, respectively.

The majority of survey respondents who are hosting Thanksgiving this year are planning to purchase the same amount of food as previous years. Another 26 percent of those hosting Thanksgiving are planning to purchase less food than previous years, while only 13 percent are purchasing more food than previous years.

While it’s evident consumers still want to keep the Thanksgiving tradition alive (and are buying enough food to fuel it, people are still keeping the celebration within their immediate and household families.

Attending Thanksgiving

For those respondents not hosting Thanksgiving this year, 40 percent are attending Thanksgiving at an immediate family member’s house. Thirty-five percent of those not hosting Thanksgiving are still unsure of their Thanksgiving plans, though. 

Meanwhile, 66 percent of survey respondents aren’t planning to travel this Thanksgiving. Twenty-one percent are traveling by car within the same state, and only 13 percent are planning to leave the state for Thanksgiving, with eight percent traveling by car.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise in the United States and a possible second wave encroaches, it’s apparent that consumers are holding off on making definitive plans that would require them traveling and seeing family or friends outside of their household for Thanksgiving.

Final thoughts

This year, the majority of our survey respondents plan to spend Thanksgiving with their immediate family, including people outside of their household. 

For most respondents, this means spending Thanksgiving with the same number of people as last year, though for many it means spending Thanksgiving with fewer people than usual. 

As trends surrounding coronavirus cases change, though, consumers’ holiday plans may too.

Interested in more consumer insights? Find out what shoppers’ preferences are for online versus in-store shopping.

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