Thanksgiving, Black Friday and UK consumer trends – focus

Two people pointing to wine labels

New research from Waitrose has suggested that more UK consumers are celebrating Thanksgiving, with warm cocktails topping the drinks searches for the occasion.

The supermarket said this week that sales of Thanksgiving products have risen 12% year on year. In drinks, searches for warm spiced apple punch are up 83% and hot gin punch searches saw an increase of 116%. Meanwhile, demand for American side dishes has also increased, with searches for sweet potato mash and mac and cheese up 90% and 45% respectively, month on month

Waitrose said: “We predict Thanksgiving will be more popular than ever this year, as the 25th November marks the start of festive family celebrations." 

The occasion also rolls into a big day for retail, as Black Friday follows Thanksgiving Thursday. While some retailers are going all out with Black Friday promotions, this year may be a little different, as lockdown habits live on. National independent business directory & marketplace, Shopli has suggested that consumers will shun the event at larger retailers to support local businesses.

Lee Nathan, CEO of Shopli, and regional chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses said: “The pandemic has changed how the UK public now shop and the majority of shoppers don’t just want discounts and deals. Independent businesses can offer alternatives and so much more than discounts such as truly unique, more sustainable and locally sourced products and this speaks to consumers values more than a quick saving from a huge faceless brand.”

While Black Friday may look a little different this year, there’s no doubt it’s part of our shopping repertoire – and it looks like Thanksgiving is making inroads, too.

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