By: Lucinda Pierce, Specialist, Research & Insights, FMI

Thanksgiving meal

Though technology has undeniably evolved the way we communicate, I’ve found that no text, call, or video chat can replace the warmth of hugging my mom. The holiday season for me is a time of strengthening familial bonds, gifting joy, and indulging in the “Superbowl” of meals. Raised by a large village of multigenerational family and friends, these moments spent together come few and far between and are deeply cherished. Whether hosting or traveling home, our U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, Holiday Season report finds more than 90% of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving and the December holidays.

What’s on Your Holiday Meal Table?

Holiday meals are living artifacts of dishes passed down faithfully, a labor of love and time meant to nourish the family unit. Eating my mother’s crepes with bacon and whipped cream feels just as festive as opening Christmas gifts. Holiday meals present a perfect opportunity to dust off family favorite recipes, as 39% of shoppers plan on buying a traditional meat product they don’t typically purchase. Though limited in frequency, it’s these unique meals that taste like home.

Shopping The Grocery Aisles

When it comes to holiday meal prep, there’s no one way to get the biggest bang for your buck. Due to concerns about rising food prices, 77% of consumers are implementing on average three various money-saving tactics. These tactics range in variety, including increasing home-cooked meals in place of eating out or ordering take out, shopping in a “coupon-conscious” or deal-oriented mindset and affordable product substitutions.

Shopper’s Plans for 2024

Looking ahead to 2024, consumers are optimistic about their financial situation and their relationship with food and health. Thirty-five percent see a potential increase in household finances in the new year, with 30% anticipating an improvement in their ability to buy food. New Year’s Eve resolutions include eating at home more, exercising and nutritional improvements in one’s diet. For one in five grocery shoppers, resolutions also include experimenting with new recipes, exploring different cuisines and trying new restaurants.

Insights for the Food Industry

Food retailers and suppliers should be mindful of shoppers’ holiday meal plans and offer creative culinary ideas, convenient and time-saving options, along with ways to save. Looking ahead, keep in mind shoppers’ commitment to improving their health and eating more meals at home by offering in-store and online ways to meet these resolutions in the new year.

Download U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, Holiday Season