Thanksgiving trends and new product launches

24 Nov 2022

Cranberry cocktails, plant-based turkey, and a half-pumpkin and half-pecan pie are just some recent products launched in time for this year’s Thanksgiving, a traditional holiday in the US.

Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US on the fourth Thursday of November. The national holiday revolves around the concept of giving thanks and is traditionally celebrated with a meal consisting of many foods native to the Americas, including turkey, cranberries, potatoes, squash and pumpkin.

Thanksgiving trends and new product launches
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The holiday is also an occasion for food and drink manufacturers to launch special edition products just for the occasion.

US supermarket chain Kroger launched a range of ready-to-eat products for the occasion, such as a half-pumpkin and half-pecan pie available for the first time this year. The retailer predicted that autumn-themed versions of classics, such as cranberry and pumpkin flavours, would be popular.

Stuart Aitken, Kroger senior vice president and chief merchant and marketing officer, said: "As families and friends gather this Thanksgiving, we are here to help them make it a meal they will remember – whether they're recreating longstanding traditions or creating new – no matter how they choose to celebrate."

German discounter Aldi launched a vegan meatless turkey breast made from a blend of soy and wheat under its Earth Grown brand in time for the holiday.

Meanwhile, Chosen Foods launched a pumpkin spice-infused avocado oil spray made with natural plant extracts, including nutmeg, allspice, and pure avocado oil. The brand says the spray is ideal for spritzing, sautéing, grilling, and roasting.

Speaking of other Thanksgiving trends it expected to see in 2022, Kroger said: “Nostalgia reigns supreme this season with a fall twist on classic cocktails such as cranberry mules, pumpkin spice mudslides, maple old-fashioned and apple-spiced margaritas. [...] spirits will be batched and shareable with boozy punches and sangria infused with autumn flavours like apple cider, pumpkin spice, and dark spirits.”

Paying a fair price for Thanksgiving favourites?

Even though consumers are paying more for food this year in supermarkets across the US, almost none of that increase is being passed on to America’s family farmers and ranchers, said the NFU.

Ahead of the national holiday, the US National Farmers’ Union (NFU) published the 2022 Farmer’s Share for typical Thanksgiving products, highlighting the small amount that farmers receive for their produce.

For instance, the average retail price for a turkey is $1.99 per pound but the farmer’s share is just $0.06 per pound, it said. For a 12oz box of stuffing, the average retail price is $3.59 but the farmer receives on average just $0.13.

“Corporate profits and consumer food costs continue to go up and up, but the farmer’s share of the food dollar remains low,” said NFU president Rob Larew. “Thanksgiving is a time of family and community, often centred around food, but thanks to price gouging by corporate monopolies in the food system, that meal is getting increasingly difficult to afford. NFU will continue to push back against harmful anti-competitive practices and for policies that bring fairness to farmers and consumers alike.”

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