Prepared Foods November 22, 2004 enewsletter

For the upcoming holiday, consumers are evenly split on where they will be eating for Thanksgiving dinner this year: 44% will enjoy the annual feast at home, while 44% will dine at a relative's home.

Only 6% will have Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's, and 4% will dine at a restaurant.

In 2003, 48% ate Thanksgiving dinner at a relative's home, compared with 38% at their own home. Only 3% did not eat Thanksgiving dinner.

Nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner now competes with traditional turkey and trimmings. In the past five years, 22% of respondents have dined on deep-fried turkey; 32% enjoyed baked ham; 8% had beef, veal or pork; and 7% indulged themselves on other fowl, such as duck, goose or chicken. In addition, 4% of respondents had ethnic cuisine, including a few who had Chinese food.

Notwithstanding, when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, a significant proportion of consumers are stuck in a rut. Fully 63% of respondents prefer the same main course every year. About 24% prefer to have more than one main course every year. Only 13% prefer to eat different main courses from one year to the next.