Thanksgiving & Food Waste: What’s The Plan This Year?

Americans waste a massive amount of food on Thanksgiving every year. However, at the same time, US consumers are also becoming increasingly environmentally-conscious. Piplsay polled 42,147 Americans nation-wide to understand whether there will be any significant change in food wastage this year. Meat chains and retailers, particularly big-box stores like Walmart and Target, can leverage this data in their decision making.

Turkeys are filling up the shelves fast, which can only mean one thing: Thanksgiving is almost here! Before we jump headlong into the festive spirit, there’s a grim reality we need to face first. Americans waste over 150 million pounds of turkey and vegetables during Thanksgiving every year. Will Americans take steps to cut down their food waste in 2019? Piplsay reached out to 42,147 Americans to find out more about their Thanksgiving plans. Here’s a summary of what we found.

  • 32% of men are not buying a turkey for environmental reasons as compared to 25% of women
  • Women are more keen on shopping at traditional stores for Thanksgiving supplies
  • Close to 80% of 45 to 74-year-olds plan to cut down on food waste, which is the highest amongst all age groups
  •  25 to 44-year-olds are most keen on shopping both online and in-store for their Thanksgiving meal
  • A large chunk of Wyoming (28%) and Mississippi (18%) residents do not plan on buying a turkey for environmental reasons.
  • Hawaii, Delaware, and Nevada are leading the charge to reduce food waste this year
  • Vermont, Idaho, and Iowa figure in the bottom three
  • New York and Colorado residents are most open to buying meal-kits

Let’s Talk Turkey!

Given that Americans love tradition, it is not surprising that a good 63% of them plan to cook a classic Thanksgiving meal this year. What is surprising, however, is that a good 28% of Americans are planning to give the good old turkey a miss, for the sake of the environment.

It looks like Americans are finally waking up to the food waste problem. This year, a whopping 78% of Americans consciously plan to cut down on their food waste. Given that a lot of uneaten food on plates gets thrown out straight away, a majority of Americans plan to serve smaller portions of food this year. Meal-kits are also gaining in popularity and not just for the convenience they offer. Americans like the fixed quantities they come in, which eliminates the need for overboard shopping.

Traditional Stores In Demand

Contrary to popular trends, Thanksgiving shopping will see most Americans flocking to nearby stores to get the best of products and deals. However, surrounded by the mountains of variety and jaw-dropping bargains, will they manage to stick to their shopping list? Nearly 30% of Americans are promising to stick to their plan, according to our study.

Will Americans really reduce food waste this Thanksgiving? The next few weeks will tell. But one thing is for sure, there is no better way to give thanks than by making sure that none of your holiday food goes to waste.

Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted nationwide in the US in the month of November 2019. We received 42,147 responses from individuals aged 18 years and older

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