Millennials Put Their Unique Spin on Thanksgiving

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Millennials Put Their Unique Spin on Thanksgiving


CINCINNATI – The days of kicking back in front of the television at their parents' house while mom prepares Thanksgiving dinner are coming to a close for the millennial generation. This year, more millennials than ever before plan to host the Turkey Day feast themselves.

New research from Cincinnati-based customer science company dunnhumby shows 59 percent of those aged 25 to 34 will host Thanksgiving this year. These older millennials are most likely to be established in their careers, married or in serious relationships, homeowners and have children of their own.

In typical millennial fashion, technology will be incorporated into the planning and preparation process for the holiday.

According to dunnhumby’s Thanksgiving consumer trends survey, 21 percent of this age group will buy groceries for their holiday meal using a food delivery app, such as Instacart, Shipt and Google Express. Meanwhile, 16 percent will use a delivery service like Peapod, FreshDirect, AmazonFresh and Blue Apron. These numbers are a sharp contrast to those in the 55-plus generation, none of whom reported using these kinds of services.

Along with utilizing technology to shop for their holiday groceries, millennials are also scouring digital channels for cooking ideas and recipes. Almost half (48 percent) said they will use social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook – far above the 27-percent national average. Recipe apps and food blogs will also be popular resources for this group.

“We are in the midst of 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, for dunnhumby. “It’s absolutely vital … 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.”

The survey also reveals a strong generational divide in regards to alcohol consumption. Younger Americans are much more likely to increase their drinking during the Thanksgiving holiday. Some 52 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds and a whopping 64 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say their alcohol intake will increase as they devour their turkey dinner. Only 23 percent of those aged 55 and older plan on upping their alcohol intake during the holiday.

The Thanksgiving consumer trends survey was carried out by dunnhumby to capture the thoughts, feelings and actions of Americans’ Thanksgiving traditions. The survey was fielded online Oct. 13-15 among 500 Americans from a nationally representative sample on age and gender.