It Could Be The Most Expensive Thanksgiving Ever – How Food Brands Are Responding

By: Jon Springer | Ad Age | Nov 9, 2021

Consumers are starting their carts for what is likely to be the most expensive Thanksgiving feast they’ve ever prepared.

Retail prices are up sharply this year—on turkeys, cranberries, pie filling, aluminum pans and more—and supplies are down, at a time when consumers are planning bigger celebrations with more friends and family than then they did a year ago, when the coronavirus pandemic limited the size of groups.

Marketers determined to make a success of the lucrative food holiday should approach consumers with empathy—a coupon or a recipe idea wouldn’t hurt either, according to a new Ad Age-Harris Poll and interviews with food experts.

The poll indicates shoppers are significantly affected by supply chain gluts and inflation this year but could be influenced by marketing: 58% say they could be swayed by advertisers while they work to fill their carts, fridges and pantries. The same poll indicated that 80% of Thanksgiving shoppers have paid more for food than they had anticipated. Two-thirds of them say they’ve used a digital or physical coupon. More than half (56%) have struggled to find an item, and nearly half (46%) have adjusted their menu plans because of this.