A September 29 article Consumers Have Ramped Up Preparation For The Holidays Early in 2020 addresses consumers’ eagerness to plan for the holidays in advance this year. With concerns about possible supply issues and crowded stores, consumers are also shopping earlier, from gifts to groceries. Experts note that retailers are kicking off the holiday season earlier than ever this year in hopes of avoiding big in-store crowds and shipping bottlenecks in November and December.2
Consumers are not only planning sooner, but smaller. A top topic on Today.com last week was Thanksgiving is Expected to be Smaller this year. As families scale down their holiday plans, retailers plan to offer more options. “Thanksgiving will likely be different this year — as in a lot smaller,” the author noted. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorizes large indoor gatherings as high-risk activities, so we’ll see more families making this traditionally travel-heavy holiday an intimate affair, and plenty of rookie cooks making their first Thanksgiving dinner on their own.” 3
Side Delights offers retailers and consumers solutions for smaller gatherings and ‘How To’ videos to help new holiday cooks with the basics of potato cooking www.SideDelights.com/FAQ. “Smart stores are paying attention to consumer trends and planning accordingly – what they are buying, how much, and when,” noted Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “Consumers will be shopping earlier and looking for simple solutions to their smaller holiday meals – especially new home cooks. Retailers who offer these solutions will win.”
Data from a study conducted by retailer Stew Leonard’s supports this theory. The store polled customers to ask whether their Thanksgiving dinner would be bigger, the same, or smaller — and nine out of 10 survey respondents said “smaller”. In preparation for this shift, Stew Leonard’s increased its order on options such as smaller turkeys, and Kroger’s noted that they will offer “a selection of plant-based proteins to meet the growing demand for vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian options.” 4
Since holiday travel estimates are much lower this year – 65.4% behind 20195 – more families are planning their holidays at home. So, while gatherings are expected to be smaller – there will be more of them. “This year, instead of a large family holiday dinner, there will likely be many small holiday gatherings – and all of them will want potatoes. Potato sales reached a five-year high this summer6, and the holidays are when most potatoes are sold,” Triou added. “Like responding to the increased demand for smaller turkeys – keeping Side Delights® five-pound bags of potatoes well stocked will also be important for retailers.”
Side Delights products are available in fresh-cut, organic, gourmet, bagged, convenience, and potato kits. All are packaged for purchasing and planning ahead. Help consumers prepare with holiday meal planning suggestions such as Little Red and Green Appetizers, or Browned Butter Smashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash visit www.sidedelights.com.
- ForwardKeys Research Company https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/winter-holiday-travel-2020-covid-19/index.html
About Fresh Solutions Network, LLC: Fresh Solutions Network (FSN) is the exclusive supplier of Side Delights® potatoes and onions. FSN is a group of family-owned potato and onion growers and shippers who help fresh potato and onion buyers grow their categories, maximize category investment, and increase sales. FSN delivers category insights, collaborative innovation, and customized assortment. Fresh Solutions Network, LLC partners include: Sterman Masser, Inc. (Masser Potato Farms and Keystone Potato Products in Sacramento and Hegins, PA), Michael Family Farms, Inc. (Urbana, OH), Basin Gold Cooperative, Inc. (Pasco, WA), Green Thumb Farms, Inc. (Fryeburg, ME), Red Isle Potato Growers, Ltd. (Prince Edward Island, Canada), NoKota Packers, Inc. (Buxton, ND), Sun-Glo of Idaho, Inc. (Sugar City, ID) and Mack Farms (Lake Wales, FL).