CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience Social | Political | Economic | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients covering the latest news and insights. Get in touch to learn more.

1. Nearly 3 in 10 Americans who celebrate Thanksgiving plan to travel for the holiday this year.

It’s Thanksgiving week, and the latest CivicScience data show more than 2-in-3 Americans are planning to stay local while they celebrate the holiday this year. Twenty-eight percent plan to travel; 16% say they’ll be driving several hours or more (recent easing of gas prices could help lessen the financial cost of traveling this way), 9% are planning to fly, and 3% intend to travel by bus or train. Respondents who live in cities are more than twice as likely as those who live in suburbs or rural areas to plan on flying this week.

Take Our Poll: Thanksgiving dinner or Thanksgiving leftovers?

2. Americans are slightly more likely to talk politics at the Thanksgiving table this year.

Politics often makes for a contentious subject and has the potential to make for some awkward and tense Thanksgiving meal conversations this year. Roughly 1-in-5 respondents say they plan to discuss politics over Thanksgiving – a four percentage point increase over last year. Still, half of U.S. adults still say they will not engage in Thanksgiving political discussions. The remaining 30% say politics might come up, but they might not.

Republicans are slightly more likely than other Americans to plan on talking about politics over the holiday. Independents remain the least likely to engage in Thanksgiving political conversations.

Household income is another factor that appears to have an influence on whether politics may come up during Thanksgiving. Americans with an annual household income of at least $100,000 are 10 points more likely than households making $50,000 to say they will discuss politics at Thanksgiving gatherings.

How consumers feel about politics with the 2024 election fast approaching, has far-reaching implications beyond the Thanksgiving dinner table, and is a topic firmly on CivicScience’s radar thanks to the new Election Mindset Tracker. This product by CivicScience analyzes and predicts how developments in the 2024 presidential race will affect people, markets, and the economy. Click here to learn more.

3. Even though Thanksgiving weekend shopping interest is down, in-store Black Friday shopping interest is up.

Once Thanksgiving feasts are wrapped, and leftovers are stored away, holiday shopping comes to the forefront. CivicScience data show interest in shopping Thanksgiving weekend, from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, is down slightly from last year. That said, more consumers who do plan on bargain hunting on Black Friday plan to do so in stores this year – 35% say they will do “most or all” of their Black Friday shopping in stores, up from 30% in 2022 and 24% in 2021. Gen Z adults, in particular, appear to be driving the push for in-person shopping. 

Join the discussion: Compared to last year, do you think it will be easier or harder to avoid political topics at the Thanksgiving table?

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