Should We Start Thanksgiving Shopping Early?

Should We Start Thanksgiving Shopping Early?


( – Thanksgiving is closer than most people think; with around two months to go, it’s right around the corner. However, with the pandemic still raging on, Thanksgiving is set to separate from tradition once again. But, not for the same reasons as last year.

Supply Chain Strain

If you’ve been to your local supermarket recently, you may realize that several items seem to be hard to find. Well, that’s because consumer demand for those products has sky-rocketed, leading to stores and their suppliers struggling to keep up. With supply chains not getting products out fast enough for consumers, businesses are worried about the holidays. Food shortages are nothing new during the pandemic, as many food items were a rarity to find when COVID-19 first struck the US. However, this time, it’s safe to say that businesses are a little more prepared than this time last year. 

Being Proactive

Some food suppliers, such as Tops Friendly Markets in New York, thought ahead and ordered turkeys for Thanksgiving back in February. Jeff Culhane, vice president of merchandising for Tops, noted that the company placed orders for turkeys in mid to late February. According to the National Retail Federation’s supply chain and customs policy vice president Jonathan Gold, many other stores are following the same course of action, hoping to stave off negative impacts for consumers by having the needed holiday foods. 

It’s not always the food in short supply; sometimes, it’s the containers needed to package the food or even the means to transport food. The National Grocers Association’s communication director, Jim Dudlicek, urges consumers to shop early for the holidays, calling it a smart strategy given the current conditions. Much like last year, people need to shop safely and wisely, he added. Dudlicek offered advice, telling consumers to reach out to independent retailers to ask questions about availability and even alternatives. 

Retailers are planning ahead for the holiday, as should their customers. It’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive. In the case of shopping, pick up what you need now, up until the holiday. Many foods people consume on Thanksgiving can last more than a couple of months when properly stored. You can accumulate what you need leading up to Thanksgiving and even Christmas. It’s the best course of action to take to avoid missing parts of your meal. 

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