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    Holiday Foods Go Head-to-Head: What are Consumers Feasting on this Christmas?

    Dec 18, 2014 | Field Agent Mobile Research


    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. 

    The 12 Surveys of Christmas: Day 8



    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.           

    Lyrical Foods 

    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.


    Something Fruity

    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


    Holiday Report 2017 Download


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