'Back to Basics' to Rule for Thanksgiving Sales, Says Nielsen

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'Back to Basics' to Rule for Thanksgiving Sales, Says Nielsen

Look for high retail sales as Thanksgiving staples such as cranberries, stuffing, and red wine as consumers seek comfort in traditional feasting for holiday celebrations, according to The Nielsen Company.

Consumers are expected to spend more than $46 million on stuffing, including stuffing mixes and frozen stuffing, during Thanksgiving week, said the market research firm. (Nielsen is the parent company of Progressive Grocer.)

Sales of cranberries will also likely be strong, with volume of more than $34 million in fresh and canned varieties, Nielsen projected.

"Back to basics is the theme for Thanksgiving celebrations this year as consumers comparison shop and search for price deals on traditional fare," said Todd Hale, s.v.p., consumer & shopper insights, The Nielsen Company. "Expect grocery retailers to be aggressive with advertising, recipe ideas, price promotions and prepared Thanksgiving meal offers in order to maximize sales during this critical 'food holiday' - - and to capture consumers who opt to cancel their holiday restaurant plans due to the current economic conditions."

Nearly 14 million bottles of wine will be served at Thanksgiving celebrations, with red wines slightly more popular than white wines, Nielsen predicted. Pinot Noir and Riesling are also more popular during Thanksgiving week compared to other times of the year.

More than 19 million cans or $14 million of sweet potatoes and yams will be purchased during Thanksgiving week, the highest sales week for yams. While more egg nog is sold in December, sales are still strong for Thanksgiving, with more than $16 million in egg nog expected.