Established American Millennials are straying away from tradition as they begin to host and make major contributions to the Thanksgiving holiday, according to a new national survey by dunnhumby, the world’s leading customer science company. Thanks in large part to the digital culture they grew up in, 25 to 34 year olds – older Millennials that are most likely to be established in their careers, married or in serious relationships, homeowners and have children of their own – plan on approaching and preparing Thanksgiving dinner quite differently than previous generations.
According to dunnhumby’s Thanksgiving consumer trends survey, 59 percent of Americans aged 25 to 34 plan on hosting a Thanksgiving dinner this year. These Millennials are exploring new shopping options in addition to the traditional supermarket, and are far more likely to leverage technology in the planning and implementation of their holiday dinner. 21% of 25 to 34 year olds report plans to buy groceries for their holiday meal using a food delivery app (such as Instacart, Shipt and Google Express) while 16% say they’ll be using an online grocery delivery service (such as Peapod, FreshDirect, Amazon Fresh or BlueApron). This is an incredibly sharp contrast with the outlook for their parents and grandparents, as none of those 55 years old and older reported plans to use either of these types of services.
These established Millennials are also the most likely to break from tradition and use online resources to find cooking ideas and recipes this Thanksgiving. Nearly half (48%) of 25 to 34 year olds say they plan on using social media websites such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook – far above the national average of 27%. This age group is also the most likely to turn to other online and mobile resources such as recipe apps (31 percent versus 16 percent of all Americans) and food blogs (27% versus just 13% of Americans as a whole).
“Nearly every retailer is hyper-focused on engaging millennials, but very few know what that actually means. These maturing customers are connected and always on, and need to be met with relevant offers, goods and services on the digital platforms they’re regularly using,” says David Ciancio, senior customer strategist at dunnhumby. “Our findings prove that the traditional grocery shopping trip is a thing of the past – even for Thanksgiving. There are now four primary mind sets around shopping, which are discover, shop, buy and reflect, and retailers need to understand the new expectations and needs customers have for each.”
The survey also indicates a strong generational divide in regards to alcohol consumption. Younger Americans are much more likely to increase their drinking during the Thanksgiving holiday, as 52% of 25 to 34 year olds, and a whopping 64% of 18 to 24 year olds, say that their alcohol intake will increase as they devour their Turkey dinner. Older Americans clearly take a more sober approach – only 23% of those 55 years old and older plan on upping their alcohol intake during the holiday.
“We are in the midst a generational and attitudinal shift throughout the United States where technology has given rise to the emergence of the new connected customer – not just in regards to Thanksgiving dinner, but for all retail and grocery shopping,” said Andy Hill, Managing Director North America, dunnhumby. “It’s absolutely vital for today’s retailers to understand both offline and online behavior through data and customer science in order to create a complete picture of consumer behavior and preferences – including how they shop, source their information and share experiences with friends and family.”
Additional key findings of dunnhumby’s Thanksgiving consumer trends survey include:
• 92% of Americans plan on buying at least some of their Thanksgiving groceries at their local supermarket
• An overwhelming majority of respondents (78%) say that they don’t worry about calories or diets on Thanksgiving
• Unsurprisingly, Turkey is by far the most common food during Thanksgiving – 85 percent of all respondents plan on eating the popular poultry
• 58% of Americans have never heard of Friendsgiving – a Thanksgiving tradition with friends instead of family
• Millennials are the most likely to attend a Friendsgiving dinner this year (42% of 25 to 34 year olds and 37% of 18 to 24 year olds)
• The majority of Americans (60%) plan on spending Thanksgiving Eve pre-making or preparing Thanksgiving dishes while over a quarter (27%) are last minute food shoppers, planning to spend the eve of the holiday shopping for groceries
• 74% of Americans believe that Thanksgiving is a time for helping the hungry or less fortunate
• Despite retailers’ best efforts, only 30% of Americans believe that Thanksgiving is also a day for shopping
• The majority of men (55%) plan on watching football after their Thanksgiving meal