A recent study indicates that an increasing number of Americans are opting for fast food instead of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, primarily due to rising inflation.
“Amid ongoing inflation, it’s no surprise that finances are a factor in the rise of a fast food Thanksgiving,” the New York Post stated, citing a Casino.org survey showing that “16 percent of respondents admitted that saving money was the primary motivator for ditching the traditional turkey in favor of a meal at McDonald’s or somewhere similar.”
The survey utilized Google Trends data, revealing a significant increase in searches for fast food on Thanksgiving Day.
According to a recent statement by the American Farm Bureau Federation, reports suggesting a decrease in Thanksgiving meal prices are exaggerated. The current prices are only marginally lower than the exceptionally high costs experienced in 2022.
“A classic Thanksgiving feast for ten, costing $61.17 total, rings in at about $6.12 less per person, the organization reported,” noted the Post. “That’s still 25 percent higher than the cost of the same meal in 2019 — an increase many Americans simply won’t be able to absorb long term.”
Another reason for the rise in fast food consumption is convenience. More and more Americans are choosing to order takeout instead of spending time preparing a home-cooked meal.
“A considerable 21% of respondents cited that factor, while an additional 20% of those polled proclaimed they don’t have enough time to fix a feast for family and friends."
David Portalatin, a senior vice president and industry adviser for Food and Foodservice at Circana, suggests that the increase in fast food consumption might indicate that Americans are having it in addition to their traditional Thanksgiving meals.
“People may use fast food on Thanksgiving for a convenient breakfast,” he said to the Post.
Portalatin emphasized that the majority of Americans have not abandoned the tradition of a conventional Thanksgiving dinner.
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