[11/20/12 - 06:45 AM]
Destination America Poll Reveals Holiday Dream Guests and Gender Differences
The study, conducted by Nielsen, delves into the behaviors of people during Thanksgiving.

[via press release from Destination America]



(Silver Spring, MD) - November 20, 2012 - The only television network that celebrates the people places and stories of our country, DESTINATION AMERICA today released a study, conducted by Nielsen, that delves into the behaviors of people during Thanksgiving. The findings revealed how Americans are celebrating the holiday from generations of traditions to family annoyances, favorite foods and television viewing to Black Friday shopping. The study shows that even in this tough economy, only 19% are cutting back on grocery spending for their special dinner, which will overwhelmingly feature a roasted turkey (88%); while a small but growing number (9%) prefer smoked* or deep-fried turkey preparation. And when it comes to food prep, men and women disagree on the level of participation in the kitchen with 74% of men (25-54) claiming to assist in cooking the meal; while just 46% of women saying the same of the men in their households. The online survey, which interviewed more than 700 men and women (18+) explores attitudes, traditions and surprising ideas around Thanksgiving.

Despite winning the presidential election, Americans rather share a turkey with Big Bird than President Obama...

When asked who they'd prefer at their dinner table for Thanksgiving, President Obama didn't fare as well as he did in the election. As a write-in option, just 5% were interested in sharing their turkey with the Commander in Chief. Both Tim Tebow and Big Bird were each selected by 23% of Americans as preferred Thanksgiving dinner guests. Assuming that Big Bird feeds approximately 30 people, one can hope the intention was to invite the feathered-friend as a guest...and not the meal. And yet another celebrity just edging out President Obama was Lady Gaga with 15%.

Men vs. Women - who really enjoys a stress-free Thanksgiving?

Though many Americans (41%) claimed that Thanksgiving was a "stress free holiday," differences emerged among age and gender breaks. About one-third of P25-54 (35%) claimed that the holiday is "stress-free" with 29% claiming that the most stressful part of the day is in the food preparation. Differences between men and women were a bit more apparent. Men 25-54 were more likely than their female counterparts to say the holiday was stress free (40% M vs. 30% W), while women 25-54 were more likely than men 25-54 to say their stress was due to food preparation (34%W vs. 25% M) or dealing with family (24% W vs. 21% M).

Hope you have two TVs on Thanksgiving...

Not surprisingly, men 25-54 (64% vs. 31% W25-54) were most likely to say they looked forward to Thanksgiving Day football, while women 25-54 (43% vs. 20% M25-54) preferred the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And sorry George Bailey and Spot, but only 6% of all respondents looked forward to gearing up for the holidays by watching Clarence get his wings on "It's a Wonderful Life," while the dogs are ousted to the kennel with just 2% of all respondents favoring the National Dog Show.

We can agree on something -- family first! When asked about their "ideal" Thanksgiving, most Americans say it'd be "having all of your loved ones under one roof."

Though this was the top-ranked answer among both genders and across age groups, women 25-54 (66%) were significantly more likely than men 25-54 (52%) to choose this response. Additionally, M25-54 were more likely than women to choose "turkey prepared several different ways" (10% M25-54 vs. 4% W25-54) and "endless food and cocktails" (19% M25-54 vs. 13% W25-54) as their holiday ideals.

"Family" just edges out "food" as the favorite part of Thanksgiving Day.*

A solid 68% of Americans claimed that "being with my family" was the best part of the November holiday; though, "all of the food" was a close contender with support from 53%. Spending time with friends came in third with 22% and "cocktails and booze" came in at 11%.

*Percentages are high due to multi-select question

Reunited and it feels so good... Three-in-10 use the holiday as a time to connect with old friends.

31% of Americans say Thanksgiving is a time for reconnecting with old friends. Overall, most claim to use this time to get together with high school friends (33%) or old neighborhood friends (31%). Some gender differences emerged when it came to college buds; M25-54 (22%) were significantly more likely than W25-54 (9%) to say they catch up with college friends.

Holiday spats: More than 40% of Americans claim to have a family member that will "annoy" them on Thanksgiving!

Surprisingly 46% of all respondents said that NONE of their family members will annoy them this year. But among adults 25-54, these numbers were higher with 51% of this age group finding one of these family members who get on their nerves.

· Americans found their in-laws to cause the most holiday friction (15%)

· Siblings came in at a close second (11%),

· Parents (10%)

· Spouses (7%)

The secret's in the...STUFFING! This ever-popular side dish was the top choice as to which Thanksgiving recipes are handed down from family members.*

More than half (56% P25-54) claim that their stuffing recipe was handed down from previous generations. Among P25-54, recipes for both pies/desserts (51%) and turkey (52%) were also popular among those passed down within families.

*Percentages are high due to the multi-select question

And the proof is in the PUMPKIN! Pumpkin emerged as the Thanksgiving pie of choice.

A multitude of Americans (44%) crowned pumpkin as their favorite holiday pie. The perennial favorite was the top choice across gender and age breaks, and was chosen by more than double those who picked apple (21%). Pecan pie (13%) and sweet potato pie (12%) were distant favorites.

Procrastination nation? When it comes to taking advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, more than one-third (36%) of Americans say they do not holiday shop on either day. However, 29% of respondents said that they make the most of Black Friday deals, shopping for both holiday gifts and also to seek out deals on items for themselves. Surprisingly, little difference emerged among the shopping habits of men and women ages 25-54.

About This Research

Between October 25 and October 27, Destination America commissioned Nielsen Entertainment, a division of Nielsen (www.nielsen.com), to survey a nationally representative sample of 700 U.S. adults about the topic of Thanksgiving. The online survey included questions about behaviors, traditions and attitudes surrounding the holiday.

About Destination America

Destination America is the first television network to celebrate the people, places, and stories of the United States. The inclusive network targeting Adults 25-54 is available in 59.5 million homes, emblazoning television screens with the grit and tenacity, honesty and work ethic, humor and adventurousness that characterize our nation. Destination America features travel, food, adventure, home, and natural history, with original series covering such diverse subjects as American food favorites, mysteries like Jesse James' lost fortune and Area 51, American heroes and innovators, as well as iconic landmarks and wonders like Yellowstone National Park and the Everglades. Destination America is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world's #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in 200 countries and territories.

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