Sensibill’s Barcode Report Explores Thanksgiving Holiday Spending Trends

Consumer spend data expert analyzes purchases around Thanksgiving Day

Sensibill, the only customer data platform designed specifically for the financial services industry, shares this month’s Barcode Report on consumer spending trends related to Thanksgiving Day, leveraging customer spend data, including SKU-level data and transactions, to uncover the deepest and most relevant insights into consumer spending.

The Barcode Report transforms customer spend data derived from financial documents into consumable and actionable insights that organizations can leverage to better understand their spending habits and behaviors. Sensibill has amassed a database of receipts and transactions from 220,000 merchants worldwide, including 96% of the top 100 in the U.S. Of these merchants, the company has extracted more than 6 million unique SKUs across 32 different countries, developing more than 6,000 unique product categories. In this report, Sensibill analyzed millions of receipts from U.S. and Canadian consumers during the past three Thanksgiving seasons, 2018-2020. Thanksgiving for Canadians falls on the second Monday of every year and fourth Thursday for those in the U.S.

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Is apple pie or pumpkin pie more popular during Thanksgiving? @getsensibill settles the age-old debate, reveals holiday traditions, and shares seasonal trends across North America in this month’s Barcode Report.

Key Highlights & Trends

  • Canada:
    • Grocery shopping accounted for, on average, 30% of a consumer’s expenses in the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day. On Thanksgiving Day, an average of 72% of a consumer’s expenses were from ordering from or eating at their favorite restaurant. Travel expenses during this time also increased by 175%.
    • Consumer spending on cranberries increased 244% on average in the days before Thanksgiving, while consumer spending on marshmallows increased by 233% during the same period. Consumer spend in both of these categories drastically dropped in the days following Thanksgiving.
    • Consumer spend on pies in the days leading up to Thanksgiving experienced only a 2% increase compared to other months. Apple pies have been topping the list (when compared to pumpkin, lemon, blueberry, and rhubarb pies) among consumers since 2019.
  • U.S.
    • On Thanksgiving Day, consumer spend on general merchandise dropped by an average of 20%, only to increase by 75% in the days following Thanksgiving. In the days following, consumer spend in general merchandise accounted for an average of 7% of a consumer’s total spend.
    • Consumer spend in serve ware increased by an average of 16%, spend on alcohol increased by an average of 12%, and turkey purchases increased by an average of 19% in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
    • Consumer spending on pies increased by an average of 21% during Thanksgiving – and continued to increase even after Thanksgiving by 6 to 7 times more. Apple pies have maintained a top preference (when compared to pumpkin, lemon, blueberry, and rhubarb pies) among consumers since 2018.

Izabella Gabowicz, Chief Operating Officer at Sensibill, said, “Customer spend data, such as SKU-level insights, can help companies understand how consumers celebrate the holidays, revealing traditions and settling age-old debates (like apple pie versus pumpkin pie) while providing a glimpse into consumers’ spending priorities and preferences during the holiday season. Companies can leverage this data on seasonal trends to gain a deeper understanding of these shifts in spend to craft their communications and imagery, and time their offers accordingly.”

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