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Thanksgiving sparks ‘resilience and opportunities’ in the US on-trade

Thanksgiving Day had a “significant” impact on the US on-trade, sparking opportunities for growth after a volatile few months, with fine dining seeing an “exceptional” performance, the latest data from CGA has showed.

The latest BeverageTrak data from CGA by NIQ’s On Premise Impact Report showed the week to 25 November (which included Thanksgiving) saw an increase in the average spend of +7% compared to the previous week, although traffic was down -16%, which resulted in a dip in velocity (the speed at which revenue is generated) of around -10%.

As Matthew Crompton, CGA regional director of North America, pointed out, fewer outlets open on Thanksgiving, this year the number was down by 72% compared to an average Thursday in 2023, but “those outlets that did open their doors saw [a] commendable performance”.

“At a total US level velocity was up +73% versus average, driven by strong check values (up +133%), while traffic saw a slight dip (-26%) compared to the average Thursday,” he said.

There was a “remarkable 95% surge in velocity” in eating-led outlets, compared to the average, although drinks-led outlets saw a dip in velocity of  -56%, but the standout performer was in fine dining, which saw “an exceptional performance” up 138% in velocity compared the average Thursday.

“For businesses, operators, and suppliers, this underscores the importance of adapting strategies, capitalizing on emerging trends, and tailoring offerings to meet the evolving demands of consumers during significant occasions like Thanksgiving,” Crompton said.

“Thanksgiving Day 2023 made a significant impact on the US On Premise, leaving a distinctive mark on hospitality businesses, operators, and suppliers alike,” he said.

Since then, the on-premise has returned to the average non-holiday pattern, with velocity up +6%, ticket counts up and total spend down compared to the previous week.

Comparing the latest week’s data with the same period in 2022, shows that across the US, velocity is currently down -2%, but the average spend is +14% higher, and ticket count -14% lower. It is worth noting that whilst Florida, New York and Texas are all performing in line with last year’s figures, the velocity in California (-7%) and Illinois (-7%) is down compared to the same period in 2022.




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