Friendsgiving Makes a ‘Sweet’ Shift to eCommerce

Turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie—oh my! As November comes to a close, consumers are gearing up for Thanksgiving dinner and all of the time-honored dishes that the holiday brings. One tradition that’s gained steam over the past few years? Friendsgiving! Often celebrated in the weeks leading up to turkey day, Friendsgiving is a more informal gathering that people celebrate with their—you guessed it—friends. 

Because Friendsgiving typically involves many of the same dishes that you’d find on the Thanksgiving dinner table, we dove into Quotient’s exclusive purchase data—comprised of more than 89 billion retail transactions tracked annually at the point of sale—to uncover this year’s top trends ahead of the main event. Here’s what we found.

eCommerce Shoppers Have a Sweet Tooth

It’s no secret that eCommerce experienced a massive boom during the pandemic. But looking at the year-over-year share of eCommerce sales reveals the trend isn’t just a one-time fad. Despite 2021’s relative “return to normal,” consumers are still choosing to shop for key Thanksgiving items online. Notably, shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen items emerged as the most popular eCommerce items on consumers’ Thanksgiving shopping lists.

Comparing 2021 Friendsgiving eCommerce data to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019 further illustrates the dramatic shift in consumer behavior to online shopping. For products experiencing lift in eCommerce share, pie-related items take the cake—they make up six of the top 10 items with lift over 2020 and five of the top 10 over 2019. The share of online sales of Pie Crust, for example, are up an impressive 177% compared to 2020 levels and an astonishing 776% since 2019. Baking had a big moment during the early stay-at-home lockdown period, so now that consumers are able to celebrate in larger groups, more people seem to be shopping online for their must-have pie ingredients to bake a show-stopping treat for Friendsgiving. 

For this study, we analyzed our exclusive purchase data from October 25–November 7, 2021, vs. October 26–November 8, 2020, and October 28–November 10, 2019, to uncover products with the biggest gains in proportion of eCommerce sales in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. 

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