| Dec 14, 2018

Thanksgiving Grocery: 2018 Movers & Shakers

The results are in! This year, we saw newcomer Lidl disrupting the status quo, skyrocketing to the top of the list of Thanksgiving Grocery Winners. Last year’s Thanksgiving champion, Albertsons, fell off the list entirely, while grocery giant Kroger also took a dip. Let’s breakdown the findings a bit more to find out who else made notable moves this Thanksgiving season and what caused the shake-up.

When it comes to dollars spent, major national banners such as Walmart, Costco and Kroger cinch the top share of grocery spend regardless of holiday trends. However, when we take a look at banner performance in November versus the rest of the year, we start to see which stores stand apart as true Thanksgiving champs. 

Lidl topped the list of winners, its share of wallet 3.4x higher than average in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Fellow regional grocers Vons, Weis, and Schnucks made the list as well, stealing share from both national and regional competitors in their areas. Despite having the third-largest share of wallet among grocers this November, Kroger made its way onto the underperformers list, signifying that even the biggest retailers must fight for their piece of the pie during the holiday season. 


Lidl Gives Thanks
Lidl has much to be thankful for after an impressive month of sales. Capturing new customers is no easy feat, and 78% of Lidl’s Thanksgiving shoppers were first-timers at the discount grocer. Where did they come from? Top retailers like Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Sam’s Club and Aldi all saw declines in share of wallet among this shopper group during the month of November, while Lidl’s share jumped from #16 earlier in the year to #2 pre-Thanksgiving. 


What made Lidl so attractive to consumers this holiday season? All signs point to competitive pricing. A recently-published white paper based on Numerator Promotions data shows that Lidl had the lowest price on Thanksgiving baskets among competitors, based on their promoted prices for top holiday food items. 

In addition to advertising low prices, Lidl emphasized the quality of their products, heavily promoting their premium brands. Since entering the US market in 2017, Lidl has struggled to find their footing. This holiday win may be just what they needed in order to turn things around. 

Promotion Commotion
Amidst the flurry of Thanksgiving grocery circulars, it can be hard for retailers to capture the attention of the holiday shopper. Lidl stood apart from the pack with clutter-free advertising that prominently featured deals on turkey and other Thanksgiving staples, particularly those from their Preferred Selection private label. While some retailers like Kroger, Target, and Food Lion required a minimum spend to take advantage of their deals, Lidl emphasized low prices with no prerequisites.

Albertsons once again offered a free turkey with purchase, a move that earned them the top spot on our Thanksgiving Winners list last year, but didn’t seem to give them the same bump this year.  Perhaps the $150 minimum spend in one trip proved less enticing than in years past, with the average Thanksgiving shopper spending only $40 on groceries per trip, $88 when a turkey was included in their basket. 


The competition for holiday grocery dollars is fierce, and getting in on the action may seem daunting. How can you avoid promotional mishaps and guard against competitive threats? Arm yourself with data from the InfoScout OmniPanel™ and Numerator’s extended suite of products. 

Click here to set up a demo and learn how Numerator can help you succeed during the holiday season and beyond.