Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turkey Everyone?

Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving next week. Consequently, I have been inspired to write a two part series about the holiday. Today I would like to address how marketers and trend watchers are gearing up to monitor our nation’s culinary preferences.

Read On:
For those reading my post that are hosting Thanksgiving this year, you are probably beginning to experience “what am I going to serve?” angst. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Last year in a New York Times article I read that searches for Thanksgiving recipes on Google have increased steadily over the past five years, doubling between 2007 and 2008. No surprise, people tend to wait until the last minute, thus by Wednesday there will be a surge in search volume. last year reported that by 5 p.m. 410,000 people had queried turkey recipes. According to its President, the site builds its server capacity the day before Thanksgiving to handle their hourly volume of one million page views.

Search data not only reveal Regional preferences, but also give marketers a snapshot of the cook’s age or behavior. Younger cooks tend to view "how to cook or roast a turkey" videos on YouTube (over 7,500 videos), while the exotic chefs check out recipes for turducken (a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey). May I share a few more Thanksgiving bytes:

Sweet potato casserole continues to be the most popular search nationwide – 37 out of the 50 states.

Number Two? You guessed it, string bean casserole; 605 out of every 1,000 searches.

Pies locked up the next three spots on the search list – pumpkin, pecan and apple respectively.

New Yorkers led the country in the number of searches for caterers; Oregon in the number of searches of how to make Tofurkey.

Why wait until next Wednesday? Just click on and save yourself some angst. Monday I will post part two of my Thanksgiving series, Leftovers.


  1. Brilliant, Jim! Now I know I'm not the only crazy one -- That Turducken sure is tasty.:)

  2. Now THAT was fun! I am brining a fresh-kill turkey and cooking it on the Weber. Why not? Scotch will be a prime ingredient as well (but not for the bird...)

  3. Perhaps it is a matter of survival. A colleague's mother had turkeys explode on her on two consecutive Thanksgivings...she packed in too much stuffing.

    Had Allrecipes been available I am sure she would have used it.

  4. "Why wait until next Wednesday? Just click on and save yourself some angst."

    But that would take all the fun out of procrastinating, wouldn't it?


  5. Thank you everyone for your fun comments.

    Victoria: What time is dinner?
    Tom: Sounds like a winning combo - Chef Flambé making fresh turkey.
    Bob: I would recommend that your colleague bring his Mom oven cleaner in lieu of a bottle of wine this year.
    Sara: The only thing that beats procrastinating is not hosting and being a guest.

  6. Really? People don't know what to cook on Thanksgiving? In my family it's the EXACT SAME STUFF every year. Call us traditional and boring.

    Christmas is at my house so then I can let loose.

  7. Jackie:

    Thawed out turkey right? Is your family brand loyal? Butterball?

    Thank you for your comment.