Ever since the first Thanksgiving in 1621, Americans have been enjoying turkey every year with family and friends. However, turkey is the only food that’s comparable to what the pilgrims enjoyed on their first Thanksgiving. Here’s a look at old and new trends for this holiday known for stuffing both turkeys and ourselves.
What’s on the dinner table?
It took the creator of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Sarah Josepha Hale, 36 years of campaigning to convince President Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving Day a national holiday in 1863. Today, 96% of American families celebrate the holiday. Approximately 51 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving, and despite the average cook time of seven hours for a turkey, it only takes us about 16 minutes to enjoy the meal. If you happen to have room for dessert, 57% of Thanksgiving pies are pumpkin. This fun infographic offers a comparison of the dinner spread of yesterday versus today.
How much are people spending on Thanksgiving?
This year, we will consume around 52 million pounds of turkey and spend $2.93 billion on Thanksgiving dinner. That’s a lot of food, but that’s not all people are spending money on. 39 million Americans will hit the road over Thanksgiving. Many more people will get a jump on holiday shopping; online spending on Thanksgiving Day is expected to exceed $2 billion.
Thanksgiving trends through the years
Every few years, someone brings some new excitement to Thanksgiving. In 1996, the deep-fried turkey went from fad to standard in some homes. In 2002, the “turducken” (a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey) was introduced. Smashed potatoes versus mashed potatoes, brussels versus creamed kale, and pumpkin pie brûlée versus the traditional pumpkin pie, all speak to the different Thanksgiving trends through the years.
No matter how you decide to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, one thing remains constant: we are all grateful for the people we are with, the food we eat, and the moments we share.