Thanksgiving, as with many holidays, represents a golden (brown) opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to make a significant contribution to their bottom lines. In Canada, the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday represents the sixth-most important week in consumer goods sales, coming in right behind the weeks leading up to Christmas, New Year’s and Easter.
Last year, sales of food items increased 6% the week before Thanksgiving, with retailers ringing up more than $1.8 billion in total sales. Not bad, right? Comparatively, sales the week of Christmas came in at more than $2.1 billion.
On average, Canadian grocery categories generate about 1.92% of their sales each week throughout the year. During the Thanksgiving holiday season, however, consumers rush to stock up on an array of Thanksgiving staples. Retailers generate 15% of their pumpkin product sales this week, while sales of turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing each increase about 12%.
So what’s going to be the star of the dinner table this year? Turkey and ham were the prime choices last year, with turkey selling three times as much as ham, $30 million vs. $10 million, respectively. The good news for consumers is that they can expect to pay less this year for both per kilogram: turkey prices, on average, are 7% less and ham is 14% less expensive than this time last year. Consumers hoping to save their hard earned dollars for the Christmas season may want to consider a Thanksgiving ham and potatoes this year over turkey and yams. The price of potatoes is holding steady at last year’s prices, but yams are 7% more expensive than last year.
As Thanksgiving is just around the corner remember higher sales mean increased instore traffic and more food flying off the shelves. If retailers are prepared and stores are well stocked with consumer’s favourite fixings it should be smooth sailing through a busy retail week.