Retailers get into Friendsgiving with Millennials
Friendsgiving, a newish pre-Thanksgiving holiday tradition created by young consumers on college campuses and in cities, is increasingly attracting marketers.
According a survey from Ypulse, 30 percent of 13-to-32-year-olds this year planned to participate in a Friendsgiving event, up from 20 percent in 2015.
“There are no real rules around what Friendsgiving entails,” said Ypulse in a blog. “The Millennials we interview mention everything from game nights to drunken potlucks. A perusal of Friendsgiving posts on Instagram shows pictures of takeout feasts alongside magazine-worthy autumn tablescapes. Regardless of what the gathering entails, the overall theme for all is doing things the way they like. No rules, just fun — and for some, an escape from family judgment.”
The events are seen as less stressful, more playful and even less controversial than many traditional holidays. Wrote Ariel Okin for Vogue, “If Thanksgiving is the holiday of forced conversation, Friendsgiving is the holiday of laughing so hard that a tiny bit of Brunello squirts out of your nose.”
In November 2016, Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic joined forces on a Friendsgiving event of their own, “featuring next level, oh-so-Instagram-worthy recipes, drinks, table decor and, of course, head-to-toe looks styled by a beloved set of Bay Area influencers,” according to a Gap press release.
Last year, IKEA provided 200 free IKEA Friendsgiving meal planning kits to Uber users in New York City and had a lifestyle blogger share videos on IKEA’s owned channels to show how to prepare meals using the kit’s contents.
Whole Foods, Tyson Foods, Target, Party City and Aldi are also among the retailers participating in the trend. Many have dedicated, Friendship-themed pages with products, recipes and entertainment ideas on their websites. Some stores are bringing out turkeys and Thanksgiving decorations as early as September in part to support the trend.
“Friendsgiving is approaching critical mass for retailers as a potential part of the holiday equation,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst with NPD Group, told The Boston Globe.
Mr. Cohen said it’s part of a larger trend of celebrating holidays with friends rather than solely family.
- Friendsgiving: a holiday for your friends, a goldmine for marketers – The Boston Globe
- Designing The Perfect Friendsgiving – Gap Inc.
- How to Plan the Perfect Friendsgiving – Whole Foods
- IKEA Teams Up With Uber And “Oh Happy Day” To Celebrate Friendsgiving – IKEA
- ALDI And Venmo Put The “Giving” In Friendsgiving – Aldi
- Google Trends Data and McCormick Recipes Bring to Life American ‘Friendsgiving’ – McCormick
- Feed a Crowd for Friendsgiving with 5 Recipes from Female Chefs – Vogue
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What sales or marketing opportunities do you see around Friendsgiving? Do you expect the event to blossom in coming years? Does Friendsgiving offer a better engagement opportunity for retailers than Thanksgiving?