With COVID-19 dampening the holiday spirit last year, Canadians are hopeful to continue traditional holiday festivities this year – starting with Thanksgiving. According to Caddle’s survey, approximately 87% of Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, making it the second most popular holiday in Canada after Christmas! While Canadians plan to celebrate, many have mixed emotions about the holidays, with the top two emotions being ‘unsure’ (25%), and ‘excited’ (22.6%). With this in mind, Caddle asked our Daily Survey Panel of 8,100 Canadians about their thoughts on Thanksgiving.
Why Do Canadians Celebrate Thanksgiving?
Caddle discovered that the top reason for Canadians to celebrate Thanksgiving is to spend quality time with family and friends (67.4%), followed by expressing gratitude (30.3%) and celebrating the autumn season (14%).
Deep dive into demographics
When we look at how familiar Canadians are with Thanksgiving, 49.8% of Canadians say they know it well. However, when we look at Baby Boomers vs. Gen Z, there is a big gap, with 61% Baby Boomers knowing Thanksgiving well compared to only 41% of Gen Z. Perhaps this points to the growing curiosity and concern of the historical context of what is modern day Thanksgiving, and the pushback we’ve seen in recent news on several national holidays and how they came to be.
Looking at how often Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, there are much more rural residents (71.5%) than urban dwellers (59.5%) who celebrate Thanksgiving every year. This is potentially attributed to the increased sense of community in smaller towns compared to concrete jungles.
When asked “How likely are you to celebrate Thanksgiving this year”, most Canadians said “Very Likely” (49.4%). This shows Canadians are eager to spend time with family, and spend dollars to celebrate the festivities.
Where are Canadians spending their dollars?
In comparison to last year, total spending is expected to see a net increase of 4%. Those who are spending more are doing so because the majority (60.8%) are inviting more people than last year and buying more food (30.6%). Even though families and friends get together on Thanksgiving to spend quality time and express gratitude, we can’t forget about the elephant in the room – the food!
What are Canadians bringing to a Thanksgiving Dinner?
One of the biggest Thanksgiving traditions is sharing a meal together, and we wanted to know what the most popular dishes or food items are at a Thanksgiving dinner.
In terms of appetizers, cheese trays and veggie trays are the most popular with 35.8% and 34.1% of Canadians expecting them respectively and it should be no surprise that the most popular food items Canadians bring to Thanksgiving dinner are also veggie trays (15.9%) and cheese trays (14.1%).
What is surprising though is that there is no single appetizer type that stands head and shoulders above the crowd i.e. no appetizer is expected by more than 50% of Canadians.
Opposingly, when asked about main dishes on a Thanksgiving dinner – turkey remains the star of the show chosen by 51.4% of Canadians.
Even by generation, turkey ranks high among all generations with Baby Boomers being the biggest fans of the dish.
Main dish: How high does turkey stand above the rest?
Majority of Canadians (87%) celebrate thanksgiving with top reasons for celebration being to spend quality time with family and friends (67.4%), followed by expressing gratitude (30.3%) and celebrating the autumn season (14%).
49.8% of Canadians say they know about Thanksgiving well, however, there is a big gap between Baby Boomers and Gen Z, with 61% Baby Boomers knowing Thanksgiving well compared to only 41% of Gen Z. When comparing the frequency of celebrating Thanksgiving, there are much more rural residents (71.5%) than urban dwellers (59.5%).
Looking at Thanksgiving food, cheese trays and veggie trays are the most popular appetizers with 35.8% and 34.1% of Canadians expecting them respectively. The most popular main dish among Canadians is turkey chosen by 51.4% of Canadians.
*Disclaimer: all data presented is owned by Caddle and has a Margin of Error of 1% or lower.
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