A survey conducted last week for Oracle showed that shoppers stocked up early on Thanksgiving staples.
Concerned about product availability amid high-profile reports on clogs in the supply chain, shoppers put the holiday side show front and center this year. According to new research from computer technology company Oracle, 35% of consumers planned to shop earlier than normal for Thanksgiving groceries, including items for side dishes. Nearly a quarter said they already bought their non-perishable items well ahead of the occasion.
The economics of Thanksgiving 2021 are unusual, in that demand is stronger than last year while prices are higher and supplies are (or believed to be) tighter. In the survey conducted for Oracle between Nov. 11 and Nov. 16, 70% of people plan to cook at home this year, while only 6% are planning to eat at a restaurant and 9% say they are picking up a pre-made dinner from a dining establishment. At the same time, 26% of respondents said they are prepared to go to multiple stores to get what they need, and 20% are concerned they won’t be able to find everything for their Thanksgiving celebrations.
"Supply chain worries continue to disrupt traditional shopping behaviors and stores need to be ready," said Mike Webster, SVP and general manager of Oracle Retail. "With the Thanksgiving grocery rush happening earlier, it will be critical that grocers have a clear view into inventory and are continually re-stocking to serve what will be an unpredictable pattern of shoppers."
These concerns aren’t temporary for Thanksgiving. Oracle’s latest findings show that a third of consumers report that they already have or plan to stock up on grocery essentials outside of Thanksgiving, again due to twin concerns about supply chain holdups and the current COVID-19 situation.