Holiday Foods Go Head-to-Head: What are Consumers Feasting on this Christmas?
8 Maids a Milking. Now we just need sugar cookies.
It’s a Yuletide food fight! Field Agent pitted traditional Christmas foods, beverages, and snacks against one another to see which would prevail as more popular this holiday season. The results have implications for consumers’ belt lines as well as retailers’ bottom lines.
Ah, Christmas. The traditions, the gifts, the decorations, and, of course, the food—the glorious food. Field Agent recently surveyed 334 adults across the country to get an idea of what foods, beverages, and snacks Americans are serving up this Christmas. Read on for a buffet of insights.
Please Indulge Us
Our survey resoundingly confirmed what most of us already suspect: Christmas is an occasion for indulging in foods far and wide. We asked agents, “To what extent do you agree with the statement: ‘I indulge in food relatively more during the Christmas season’?” Their response was overwhelming.
92% of adults agreed they indulge in food more at Christmas than other times of the year.
That’s 307 of the 334 surveyed! In fact, exactly half of our respondents strongly agreed with the statement. It's the season for food and, apparently, lots of it.
But how exactly do Americans indulge in holiday foods? In a variety of ways, we found. Most common, cited by 62% of the sample, is to simply enjoy more sweets than normal. And 50% of those surveyed said they eat larger meal portions during the holidays. Other relatively prominent methods of indulgence include higher calorie foods (44%), more frequent snacks (43%), and more junk food (40%).
In This Corner: Holiday Foods Face Off
From a list of select items, our sample was asked which holiday foods and beverages they prepare, serve, and/or consume at Christmas. This helped us understand which foods are more popular during the holidays.
- The match-up between egg nog and apple cider was hotly contested, with egg nog (53%) eventually prevailing over apple cider (41%) as the more common holiday beverage.
- In the salty snack division, party mix (47%) bested popcorn (38%).
- Sugar cookies (74%) dominated gingerbread (39%) in the sweet snack division.
But the main event of the survey was turkey versus ham. Which would be more popular at Christmas? In the end, ham (74%) KO’d turkey (59%), with turkey immediately calling for a rematch next Thanksgiving.
Tis’ the season for delicious, edible lyrics. For instance, “There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy, when they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie.” Or how about, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”? But we wondered whether America still goes in for these two traditional holiday foods, since we sing about them every December.
Yes and no.
Pumpkin pie is still a fairly big hit at Christmas, with 60% of respondents saying they partake at Christmastime. But chestnuts were a different story, receiving favor from only 11% of the sample.
The holiday food everyone loves to hate: fruitcake. But maybe the criticism of this heavily gifted—and perhaps re-gifted—item is a little overdone? Maybe America likes fruitcake more than all this negativity suggests? Nope. In our survey, only 11% reported they eat fruitcake at Christmas.
Did we miss your favorite Christmas foods? Tell us in the comments.
The 12 Surveys of Christmas
- A Peek at America's Favorite Movies and Music
- Does America Still Believe in Santa Claus?
- Kid's Christmas Wishes
- The Christmas Party Scene: How America Celebrates, and What it Means for Retail
- Holiday Foods go Head-to-Head
- "I'll be Home for Christmas," says most of America
- Gifts Galore! It’s Christmastime (and the busiest time) in the City
- “The New, Old-Fashioned Way”: 5 Ways Personal Technology is Reprogramming Christmas
- The Spirit of Giving: Charity, Service, and What it Means for Companies
- 3 Key Insights into Holiday Shoppers: When, How, and Why They Buy
- Stocking Stuffer & Consumer Insight Surprises
- 1,000 Christmas Trees across America [Video]
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