5 Facts About the Business of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not a day celebrated only by friends and families; it is also a big day for certain businesses as well. This uniquely American holiday, in which we commemorate the Pilgrim’s survival of their first tumultuous year in their strange new home, is a time of excess both in terms of calorie consumption and in terms of dollars spent. Everyone from poultry farmers to flat screen TV vendors to marketers vying for airtime during NFL games can count on big bucks when Turkey Day rolls around. And the spending spree is merely beginning with Thanksgiving Day as it is the “official” start of the holiday shopping season.

5 The Average Cost of a Thanksgiving Meal Is Cheaper This Year

The American Farm Bureau has released its annual survey calculating the average cost of the Thanksgiving Day feast, and the price tag per person is slightly lower than it was in 2012. But we do mean slightly: the price drop is calculated at about 34 cents. Last year, your meal would have cost you approximately $49.48. This year, due to the drop in prices of some food items, with lower turkey prices being the biggest factor, the average American Thanksgiving Day meal will cost $49.04.

4 “Black Friday” Is Now Black Thursday Evening

The infamous Black Friday holiday shopping bonanza has crept forward one calendar day. It used to be that stores offered “door buster” deals on all sorts of items on the day after Thanksgiving, luring shoppers away from their post-gorge stupors and into spending millions of dollars in the name of savings. Now the so-called “shopping creep” is in full effect, and multiple big box stores like Walmart and Best Buy will be open for business on what should be a holiday spent at home.

3 Fewer People Are Cooking Traditional Thanksgiving Meals

In 2011, many estimates were that nearly fifteen million people dined at restaurants on Thanksgiving Day, with everywhere from Morton’s Steakhouse to mom-and-pop diners seeing crowds. The newest growing trend this year seems to be dining at home, but with a meal catered and prepared by a business, such as Whole Foods or Boston Market. While Americans still love the tradition of a large meal shared among loved ones, we evidently hate the work of preparing it.

2 The Dreaded Calorie Count

The average American will eat more calories on Thanksgiving Day than they will on any other day of the year. Even knowing that, the statistics still may surprise you. Studies conducted by a group called the Calorie Control Council estimate that the average Thanksgiving Day calorie count will be around 4,500 calories, well over twice the recommended daily amount. Much of those calories come from the meals, and the rest come from alcoholic and/or sugary drinks. Add to that staggering 4,500 calorie figure nearly 230 grams of fat and you will see why this is a once a year fete.

1 How Many Turkeys Do We Consume on Thanksgiving?

As turkey is the main course for most Americans on the fourth Thursday of every November, it will come as no surprise that a lot of turkeys are slaughtered for this one day. The estimates are that some 46 million birds will be served up on November 28th, 2013. Not all of those turkeys are slaughtered for Thanksgiving, exactly: in fact, only about one out of nine turkeys are slaughtered fresh for the holiday. Most were indeed harvested and frozen weeks or even months before they are sold and then served for a Thanksgiving Day feast.
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