Turkey Takeout Biz is Booming

Nov 24, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Perhaps you are among the culinary-challenged. Maybe you just don’t have enough hours in the day. You might even just want someone else to do it. No matter what group you fall into, if you’ve decided to cater your Thanksgiving feast this year, you’re not alone. As a matter of fact, you’re part of a growing trend in the U.S.

According to an Associated Press report, Fresh Market sold a few hundred complete Thanksgiving meals last year and this year that number has mushroomed to over several thousand. Eric Blaesing, spokesperson for the Greensboro, N.C.-based chain of 44 stores, said the company has sold out its supply of Thanksgiving meals.

The grocer began its Thanksgiving program last year selling complete meals serving six to eight people for $49.95.

“With these big dinners, you have to order everything in advance,” said Mr. Blaesing. “We buy products from vendors and assemble it at the store.”

“What’s interesting to me personally is you think about Thanksgiving being the home thing … no more, baby,” he said. “I would love to know how many people don’t tell people” that the meal was ordered in.

Harry Balzer vice president of the NPD Group, said only one in three households consuming turkey on Thanksgiving actually cooks it themselves. Many choose to go to family and friends to celebrate the holiday.

Moderator’s Comment: What do you see as the primary factors behind why more consumers are having their Thanksgiving
and other holiday meals prepared outside to serve in the home? Are there food retailers that have impressed you with their holiday meal offerings?

George Anderson – Moderator

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