Thanksgiving Turkey Gets Outshined by Sides: Survey

Shipt study finds over half of Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to choose sides over turkey, compared with Boomers
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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Shipt Stuffing Ideas
Shipt has teamed up with Michelin Star Chef Charlie Mitchell, of Brooklyn, N.Y., to craft a series of innovative stuffing recipes.

While Americans prepare their shopping lists for the biggest holiday meal of the year, Shipt's new survey has uncovered that more than half of Americans (51%) would prefer a Thanksgiving without the turkey than to go without their beloved sides. What's more, when it comes to side dishes, more is better, as the #MakeSidesTheMain study found that the average American will serve five side dishes at the Thanksgiving table – and 16% intend to serve seven-plus.

Additional findings from the #MakeSidesTheMain study include:

  • Generational Gap: Over half of Gen Z (58%) and Millennials (51%) are far more likely to choose sides over turkey, compared with Boomers (43%).
  • More Sides, Please: When going in for seconds, two-thirds of Americans are getting sides (66%) rather than the turkey, including an overwhelming majority of Gen Z (76%) and women (73%).
  • Don't Be THAT Guest: More than half of Americans (57%) would rather you show up empty-handed, than with a side dish that nobody likes.
  • The Dish is Worth the Drama: Family gatherings are notorious for dining room table debates, but a staggering 81% of Americans agree that the right food at Thanksgiving makes dealing with family drama worth it.
  • Peace and Stuffing: Almost half of Americans (43%) reported that they have had family arguments surrounding which side dish should be at the table. America's most beloved side dishes in ranking order are stuffing, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese.

To put an elevated twist on America's favorite Thanksgiving side, Shipt has teamed up with renowned Michelin Star Chef Charlie Mitchell, of Clover Hill, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to craft a series of innovative stuffing recipes. Shipt is also hosting an exclusive pop-up restaurant in the East Village serving Chef Mitchell's stuffing on Nov. 10-11. A reservation can be made via Resy.

[Read more: "How Target Is Aiming to Win Thanksgiving"]

Shipt’s survey also revealed where it can lend consumers a helping hand: cutting down on trips to the store.

"We learned through our survey that over half of Americans make three or more trips to the grocery store to prepare for Thanksgiving," said Alia Kemet, CMO at the retail tech company. "Shipt is every Thanksgiving host's hero, offering same-day delivery of the finest side dish essentials directly to your door, giving you time back to spend with loved ones."

Available in more than 5,000 U.S. cities, Birmingham, Ala.-based Shipt is an independently operated subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Target Corp. Target is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century.

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