How Canadians spent their Thanksgiving dollars

Numerator data reveals big spikes in average promoted price across many categories.

thanksgiving_turkey-imageCanadians felt the pinch at Thanksgiving, with new consumer spending data revealing that discounter Costco is gaining holiday market share at the expense of grocery banners.

According to Numerator’s “Thanksgiving 2022 Canadian Purchase and Promotions Recap,” when compared to Thanksgiving 2021, Costco’s share of wallet for the grocery department increased by 6.4 percentage points, suggesting more Canadian consumers are shifting to the club channel in the face of hyper-inflation. Loblaws saw its share of wallet decrease by 3.6 points, while Metro’s fell 2.6%. Sobeys and Walmart banners saw slight declines in wallet share.

Purchase data reveals that 2022 projected Thanksgiving grocery sales increased by 9.6% compared to 2021, but spend per trip and basket size declined (see below). Compared with 2020, spend per trip and basket size have been sinking as frequency spikes. According to Numerator, the increase in the number of trips suggests Canadians are seeking deals due to price increases.

Thanksgiving-Numerator-study

Compared to Thanksgiving 2021, the “Comfortably Retired” demographic increased their basket size by 32%, while “Prospering Consumers” only increased basket size by 3%.

Household penetration for most Thanksgiving goods declined, thanks to people’s confidence in venturing out. Confectionery and produce were the exceptions, seeing very slight boosts in penetration.

On average, grocery categories saw a promoted price increase of 17.5%. The highest percentage changes in average promoted price was for in-store bakery (47%), pasta (41%), and beans and greens (39%), followed by alcoholic beverages (31%), shelf stable meals (30%) and packaged bakery (29%). Meat and snacks, meanwhile, saw the least change.

The categories retailers prioritized in terms of share of promotional voice were frozen, produce and beverages. By contrast, dairy, snacks, and baking and cooking were all less likely to be promoted in 2022 compared to 2021.

When it came to the holiday’s star dish, the numbers reveal that baskets containing the turkey category increased by 7.9%. However, Numerator notes a trendline that consumers are “clearly shifting towards frozen over fresh turkey.”

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