What Percent Of Americans Skip Turkey On Thanksgiving

What Percent of Americans Skip Turkey on Thanksgiving?

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Have you ever observed a gap on the Thanksgiving table where the classic turkey should be?

It’s a growing trend in America, and I experienced it firsthand at a recent Thanksgiving gathering. We all know that Thanksgiving and turkey go together, but times change. 

So, what percent of Americans skip turkey on Thanksgiving? Today, I’ll share how many Americans no longer have turkey on Thanksgiving. 

And I’ll explain why this is happening and what other foods are becoming more popular instead.

How Many Americans Don’t Eat Turkey At Thanksgiving?

Slicing Roasted Turkey

A survey by the National Turkey Federation found that 88% of Americans still gobble up turkey on Thanksgiving. 

“Thanksgiving day. Let us all give humble, hearty, and sincere thanks now, but the turkeys.”

Mark Twain, American Writer and Humorist

However, 12 out of every 100 people avoid having turkey on this special day. So, most folks are sticking to the turkey tradition on this special day. 

While some may try different dishes, it’s clear that turkey is still the star of the show for most people during this important holiday feast.

But what breed of turkey do people eat during Thanksgiving?

What Percentage Of People Don’t Like Turkey?

Over 30% of American adults, according to a recent survey, don’t like eating turkey, the centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

This tells us that people have different tastes and like different foods for the holiday. 

Even though lots of people still really like turkey, many others choose different foods or don’t like the taste of turkey. 

This shows us how having many different foods and traditions on Thanksgiving is important so everyone can have a satisfying celebration.

How Many Americans Will Eat The Leftovers From Thanksgiving?

In a survey from 2021 with 2,000 people who celebrate Thanksgiving, around 62% of people said they love having leftover turkey after the big feast. 

Mashed potatoes and stuffing were next in line, with 46% of people picking them as their favorite leftovers. About 45% said pumpkin pie was the best for leftovers [1]. 

But here’s something interesting: 38 out of 100 thought pumpkin pie should only be eaten during the holidays and not any other time. As such, lots of people enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers.

Read: What Is The Average Weight Of A Thanksgiving Turkey?

What Percent of Americans Would Like Something Other Than Turkey On The Table?

In a recent 2023 survey, there were around 2,000 Americans who were asked what they’d like to have on their Thanksgiving table; surprisingly, 65% preferred something other than turkey.

That’s a big change from the usual turkey tradition. It shows that many folks are open to trying different foods on Thanksgiving. 

Even though turkey has always been the star, many people are excited about exploring new tasty options when they gather with family and friends to celebrate this special day.

Why Do Some People Refuse To Eat Turkey On Thanksgiving?

Some people choose not to eat turkey on Thanksgiving because it’s not the healthiest food. A small serving of turkey doesn’t have much fiber, and it has a lot of cholesterol. 

As such, it’s not good for your heart and has quite a bit of fat, especially saturated fat, which isn’t good for you either.

If you compare turkey to healthy foods like beans, vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts, turkey needs to stack up better in terms of healthiness. 

So, some people decide to eat different foods on Thanksgiving that are better for their health, but they still enjoy the holiday and celebrate with delicious food.

Why Should You Eat Chicken Instead Of Turkey On Thanksgiving?

Close Up Image of Roasted Turkey

Choosing chicken instead of turkey for Thanksgiving can be smart because they are smaller than turkeys, so it’s good if you’re celebrating with a smaller group of people.

“Thanksgiving isn’t just about turkey; it’s a feast of choices, and for some, turkey takes a backseat.”

Howkapow Gift Site

You won’t end up with too much leftover food. Plus, chickens cook quicker and more evenly than big turkeys, making cooking easier. 

So, chicken is a great option if you want a tasty and practical choice for your Thanksgiving meal. But why should you not eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

What Is the Cheapest Meat To Buy For Thanksgiving?

When it comes to budget-friendly meat options for Thanksgiving, a few choices stand out. First, bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks are often more affordable than turkey or other meats. 

They can be a cost-effective substitute, especially for smaller gatherings. Beef sirloin is another option, as it tends to be less expensive than premium cuts like filet mignon [2].

And don’t forget about ground beef – it’s a wallet-friendly choice, offering versatility for dishes like meatloaf or casseroles.

Related Post: What State Eats Turkey The Most On Thanksgiving?


How many families can’t afford to celebrate Thanksgiving?

Unfortunately, 1 in 4 Americans can only afford to spend $100 on Thanksgiving, or they may have to skip the celebration altogether.

Find out what time you should eat Thanksgiving dinner here.

Is it alright to not celebrate Thanksgiving?

Yes, it’s absolutely fine. Sometimes, skipping Thanksgiving doesn’t mean a ruined holiday season.

Many plans have been changed this year, and if Thanksgiving doesn’t happen like it usually does, that’s perfectly okay.

What Thanksgiving dish is more nutritious than turkey?

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, consider Tofurky. It’s a soy-based turkey substitute that’s seasoned to taste like turkey. 

The great thing is tofu, the main ingredient in Tofurky, packs a big protein punch, just like turkey. 

Final Say

As I finish discussing about how much turkey people eat on Thanksgiving, I want to share my thoughts. 

I found out that approximately  88% of Americans still follow the tradition of having turkey on Thanksgiving, according to a survey by the National Turkey Federation. 

That means most people really like having turkey on this day. But when we looked closer, we found that almost 30% of grown-up Americans, from a recent survey, don’t like turkey. 

Interestingly, it shows that only some people love turkey, even on Thanksgiving.


Kimberlee Johnson
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