Friday, October 21, 2011

Holiday Planning Insights


INSIGHT 1: Thanksgiving dinner is the most celebrated holiday meal with 71% of Americans planning to prepare the traditional meal this year. 

More than half of home cooks will bake holiday cookies and cook dinner for Christmas and Hanukkah. Nearly half of consumers also make food gifts, while cooks in Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles and Houston are most likely to host Thanksgiving dinner.

Percentage of Residents Who Will Host Thanksgiving Dinner in Key U.S. Cities 
INSIGHT 2: When compared with a year ago, three-quarters of households expect their holiday spending to be the same. 

However, one in five households (20%), anticipate reducing spending on holiday cookies, food gifts and parties. To save money, 68% will purchase items that are on sale, and 66% will prepare dishes from scratch. One-quarter plans to substitute high cost ingredients with lower-priced versions. Only 11% say they will cut back on wine and alcohol.

INSIGHT 3: While still relatively small, mobile and social media sites are experiencing strong growth as sources for holiday recipes: Social media websites rose 58% over 2010, and Smartphone or tablet apps are up 92%. 

To choose holiday recipes, what matters most to 73% of home cooks are positive ratings and reviews. More than half prepare they’ve made before that turned out well.

INSIGHT 4: 88% of Thanksgiving cooks oven-roast their turkey, but only 36% cook stuffing inside the bird. 

Most home cooks (66%) prepare stuffing separately from the turkey. For side dishes, 93% of households ‘must have’ mashed potatoes, particularly in Boston. Other methods of cooking the Thanksgiving turkey include deep-frying (for 5%) and grilling (4%). Just 3% don’t serve turkey. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce are ‘must haves’ at more than 80% of Thanksgiving dinner tables.

Most Popular Side Dishes by Location

AMERICA’S CHOICE THANKSGIVING MENU: In 2010, Allrecipes home cooks selected these recipes as their favorite Thanksgiving choices. 

Feta Cheese Foldovers

Green Beans Feta
Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole

A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey

Awesome Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

Cranberry Sauce
Oranged Cranberry Sauce

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

The Best Mashed Potatoes

Savory Turkey Gravy

Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Allrecipes, the world’s largest food site, receives 700 million annual visits from home cooks who discover and share food experiences through recipes, reviews, photos, profiles, and blog on the web and mobile devices. For 14 years, the Seattle-based site has served as a dynamic, indispensable resource for cooks of all skill levels seeking trusted recipes, entertaining ideas, everyday and holiday meal solutions and practical cooking tips. Allrecipes’ global, multiplatform brand provides insights into the kitchens and cooking passions of home cooks everywhere with 17 websites, 9 mobile apps, and 13 eBooks serving cooks in 23 countries and 11 languages. Allrecipes is part of Lifestyle Communities @ RDA, a division of The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. For additional information regarding Allrecipes, please visit

Please Contact:  
Stephanie Robinett  
Director, Communications  

The 2011 Holiday Insights Survey was hosted on from September 25 – 31, 2011, with participation from 1,350 U.S.-based home cooks. No incentives were used to reward or incent participation. 

The Allrecipes Measuring Cup report is derived by analyzing the site behaviors and search data from more than 700 million annual visits to, along with survey data from Allrecipes’ online surveys.