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With Thanksgiving fast approaching millions of Americans are already beginning to prepare for the holiday feast. When deciding how to celebrate and what to cook many people turn to internet for inspiration and advice… So, Google’s search data could help plot the Thanksgiving gastronomic habits of Americans: have they changed over the last few years? Is turkey always the king of the feast? Follow FDL on this journey deep into the web.
Kitchen, restaurant or delivery ?
Data from searches over the last 6-years generally show that people prefer to cook at home compared with dining out. However, 2011 shows an unexpected rise in the number of searches for the term "Thanksgiving restaurant".
Another emerging trend to monitor throughout America is that of searches for "Thanksgiving delivery", with people of the East Coast - New York and Massachussets - ranking highest for for these terms.
People is going to prefere to share a bill rather than the costly and stressful task of cooking at home?
Traditional vs Alternative
Data shows that searches for “vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes” have, for the past 6 years, ranked 2 to 3 times higher than those for "traditional Thanksgiving recipes" during the November months.
The more “traditional” routed States since 2004? Texas, Florida and surprisingly New York and California. While the pole position of “vegetarians” is held by Washington, followed by Massachussets and New Jersey.
Searches for “vegan Thanksgiving recipes” reached the same number of the traditional ones from 2006 onwards. But in 2011 forecast indicates a doubling of “Veggies” and the “gluten free Thanksgiving recipes” inquiries will overtake “Traditionals”. 2011 will be the year of “alternative Thanksgiving”, at least on the web.
If anyone saw William Shatner's recent safety video on how to fry a turkey it may be a few years too late. Searches for "fried turkey" have decreased by half over a six year period as other options for a Thanksgiving bird pick up momentum.
There was a light increase of 15% from 2004 to 2009 for people searching the terms "organic turkey" during the holiday period, but figures for 2009 onwards show that they have stalled, remaining the same for the past few years.
Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin and Colorado are the most interested in the "organic" type for Thanksgiving with people from Middle America showing little interest and opting to search "big turkey" - a term that has almost doubled since 2009.
Last but not least, it's the people of Washington D.C with the most refined palates - as searches for "serving wine with turkey" come in higher than any part of USA.
Desserts and presents
40% of all food searches around the Thanksgiving period relate to desserts: pies are loosing appeal slightly while an emerging dessert search is for "pumpkin bars".
If sweets are a priority course for most Americans, Texans stand out: searches for "easy Thanksgiving dessert" are higher than any other State. They are however most active searcher for "gifts for in laws", during holiday period. Who knows, maybe the gifts are to cover up for those hasty sweets...