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Thanksgiving - Statistics & Facts

Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays in the United States. Since it became a public holiday in 1862, it has taken place on the fourth Thursday of November each year. Family and friends usually come together for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in order to be thankful for a good harvest or blessings in life. A traditional Thanksgiving meal in the United States features turkey roast, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet (mashed) potatoes, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, vegetables of the season, bread rolls with butter and pumpkin pie with whipped cream as dessert.

Thanksgiving dinner staple: Turkey

In 2020, the average price of ingredients for a 10-person Thanksgiving dinner amounted to 46.90 U.S. dollars. As turkey plays a central role in the feast, this component typicallytakes up the largest share of the meal’s expenditure. The actual retail price of a whole, frozen turkey amounted to 1.64 U.S. dollars per pound in 2020. According to a recent survey, about 70 percent of U.S. respondents were planning to serve average-size or large turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Thanksgiving weekend shopping

Besides the reunion between family and friends, Thanksgiving contributes heavily to annual retail holiday sales. Black Friday, which is described by the media as the "busiest shopping day of the year", takes place right after Thanksgiving Day and advertises special offers and discounts in order to boost holiday sales. A recent survey revealed that almost half of American consumers are likely to begin their holiday shopping on Black Friday in the early morning (7am to 10am). Along these lines, among those who were intending to shop during Black Friday, around 20 percent of consumers were expecting discounts up to 50 percent.


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