Thanksgiving spending down

Thanksgiving spending will decline this year according to Los Angeles-based IBISWorld, an independent publisher of business research.  With the financial crisis looming, the 155 million American households celebrating the holiday will only spend $28.5 billion this year - down 3.4 percent from 2007 - 90 percent of which will be spent on food alone.

Home cooking is on the menu this year. Thanksgiving food consumed outside the home grew 36 to 43 percent from 1980 to 2006, respectively. But since then, families have shied away from restaurants in favor of home-prepared meals; a trend expected to continue as tough economic conditions strain American budgets.

With around 275 million turkeys raised this year - up 1.1 percent from 2007 - certified organic turkeys will account for just over half of total domestic turkey production. Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Missouri and California contribute to 64 percent of domestic production. And this year the U.S. will produce 700 million pounds of cranberries (up 1.5 percent); 1.65 billion pounds of sweet potatoes (up 3 percent); 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins (up from 1 billion); 1.9 bushels of wheat (up 5.5 percent); and 850,000 tons of snap green beans (up 1 percent).

All of us at Food Processing wish you a joyful, healthy Thanksgiving.