The only Thanksgiving survey you’ll ever need: 10,000 people on what, when, and how they plan to celebrate

Thanksgiving is a day to count your blessings, enjoy time with family and friends, and possibly have the pleasure (or displeasure) of running into high school classmates in your hometown.

These holiday traditions can take myriad forms, however, so we at Survata were curious to get a handle on how people across the country will be spending their Thanksgiving Day. To do so, we used our consumer survey tool to ask 10,546 respondents about their plans.

Eating early?

Maybe it’s based on tradition, or on optimizing sustenance for a Black Friday brawl, but the time of day respondents eat their Thanksgiving meal varied significantly by region. Overall, 66% of respondents plan to have their meal between 1 and 5 p.m, with 7% planning on eating before 1 p.m. and 27% after 5 p.m. Those in the Plains region are the most likely to have an early Thanksgiving meal, as 54% of respondents answered they will eat before 3 p.m. The Far West region, on the other hand, is the least likely to have an early meal, with only 26% stating they plan to eat before 3 p.m.

Cooking for a crowd

While spending time with loved ones is obviously a popular Thanksgiving tradition, respondents’ plans range from channeling the Duggars to more of a lone wolf approach. 32% of respondents plan on sharing their Thanksgiving meal with 4 to 7 people, while 14% answered they plan to spend Thanksgiving with 1 to 3 people. 10% of respondents plan to have their meal with more than twenty people.

Poultry preparation

Although turkey is the predominant bird of choice at Thanksgiving, there are a variety of ways to prepare it. Among those planning to cook a turkey, we found that roasting turkey, at 76% of respondents, is the most popular option. 8% of respondents have delicious (albeit dangerous) plans to deep fry their turkey, and 6% will grill their turkey.

Pass the potatoes

However, we all know there are many things besides turkey that will be sending eaters into a Thanksgiving food coma. When it came to Thanksgiving side dishes, our results show that mashed potatoes are the most popular overall, as 31% of respondents listed it as their favorite side dish. Stuffing and sweet potatoes were also commonly selected, at 27% and 14% respectively.

Our take

Other commonly cited traditions included watching football, playing football (although surprisingly less than 10% of respondents planned on participating in a Turkey Bowl) volunteering at a homeless shelter, and relaxing with family. We expected to find more regional correlations in the data, and were surprised to see that most of the categories didn’t vary significantly by geography. Perhaps major Thanksgiving traditions simply transcend state bounds.

Want to gauge consumer behavior across the nation? Try Survata today.

Footnotes for our fellow data geeks

  1. We interviewed 10,546 online respondents from November 13 to November 22, 2013.
  2. You can download the underlying data here.
  3. You can analyze the underlying data in Statwing.

Global warming? 46% believe recent extreme weather an effect of climate change

Sunday marked the deadliest November tornado outbreak in Illinois history, as storms ripped through much of the state killing six and injuring many more.

The storm, notable for its huge scope and unusual seasonal timing, came soon after one of the most powerful typhoons in history devastated the Philippines, displacing an estimated 4 million people. Many refuse to believe that the two catastrophic weather events are coincidental, and instead attribute the extreme weather events to global climate change.

We at Survata were curious if the public would make a similar connection, and whether they even view global climate change as a viable concern. To find out, we used our consumer survey tool to ask 1,255 Americans if they believe Typhoon Haiyan and the recent tornadoes in Illinois are the result of global climate change. We found that 46% answered “Yes,” 25% answered “No,” while 29% are unsure.

Are humans to blame?

Our results show that 52% of respondents believe that human activity is primarily responsible for global warming, while 22% do not and 26% are not sure. Respondents who believe that climate change is caused by human activity are almost three times more likely than non-believers to think it’s the cause of recent extreme weather events. See the full breakdown below:

Cause for concern

We found that 29% of respondents are “very concerned” about global climate change, compared to just 16% who are “not at all concerned.” Unsurprisingly, we found that those who are “very concerned” are eight times more likely than their “not at all concerned” counterparts to attribute recent extreme weather events to global climate change.

Our take

It’s been shown that concern about global warming increases after catastrophic weather events, so the fact that our survey coincided with the aftermath of the Illinois tornadoes and Typhoon Haiyan represents a caveat. We also expect this month’s UN climate summit to affect public opinion, as the latest scientific findings disseminate.

Want to discover what your customer base cares about? Try Survata today.

Footnotes for our fellow data geeks

  1. We interviewed 1,255 online respondents from November 18 to November 19, 2013.
  2. You can download the underlying data here.
  3. You can analyze the underlying data in Statwing.

Who believes that the NSA spied on Germans? Apparently, not Germans

The NSA is back in the news, as information surfaced that the agency has monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone calls since 2002 (along with numerous other European officials).

For some reason, the public was surprised by this revelation, despite the peek Edward Snowden offered at the vast stores of NSA surveillance information and the fact that documented NSA spying has been going on since the Cold War. So, we at Survata were curious if trust in the U.S. Government varies by European and American respondents when it came to NSA spying allegations.

We used our consumer survey tool to ask 2,427 respondents across the U.S. and five European countries if they believe that the U.S. Government gathered information on European officials (even though the NSA has not denied the allegations). After excluding respondents who weren’t familiar with the story, we found that only 51% of European respondents believe the NSA spied on European officials, while 23% do not, and 26% are not sure. The results showed that U.S. respondents are significantly more likely to believe the NSA allegations:

Disbelief in Deutschland

Our results showed that American respondents, at 62%, are the most likely to believe that the NSA spied on European officials. Interestingly, Germany, the country currently at the epicenter of the scandal, is the least likely to believe the allegations are true (45%). See the full breakdown by country below:

E.U. outrage?

Unsurprisingly, we found that the U.S. is the least likely to be upset over the NSA spying scandal, as only 13% responded that they would be “extremely upset” if the allegations were true. France is the country most likely to be “extremely upset” over the NSA surveillance at 31%, followed closely by Italy.

Our take

We were surprised by the number of people who do not believe that the NSA gathered intelligence on European officials. While the degree to which the agency spied is still largely unknown, the charge itself has gone largely uncontested by the U.S. Government. And since there are rumors that the NSA spied on the Pope, we don’t think anyone can be considered out of bounds.

Does your research question need international reach? Try Survata today.

Footnotes for our fellow data geeks

  1. We interviewed 2,427 online respondents from October 29 to November 1, 2013
  2. You can download the underlying data here.
  3. You can analyze the underlying data in Statwing.