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Quebecers Feel Pretty Meh About Thanksgiving & It Could Boil Down To Food Costs

About half of residents didn't plan to celebrate the holiday, a survey found.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​A boucherie in Montreal's Atwater Market.

A boucherie in Montreal's Atwater Market.

Quebecers are more than willing to talk turkey when it comes to sports and politics, but it turns out we're more reserved when it comes to buying turkey — especially this Thanksgiving.

The meat of the matter is a mix of inflation — with higher prices keeping most away from their local boucherie — and general disinterest. A recent survey by the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University and Angus Reid found that 45% of people in Quebec had no intention of celebrating the holiday, compared to 9 out of 10 respondents from the rest of Canada who do celebrate.

"This is our first time measuring intent of Canadians for Thanksgiving, but you can sense that food inflation is putting some pressure on dinner tables these days," said the lab's director, Sylvain Charlebois. Nearly a quarter (22%) of respondents planned to change their usual holiday meal due to higher food prices.

Most Canadians consider turkey essential for Thanksgiving dinner with nearly two-thirds of people ranking it the most important food (62%) and more than three-quarters ranking it among the top three (77%). But the price of the bird has risen by 15-16% per kilogram on average since 2021, according to Agri-Food Analytics Lab. Bacon, ham and chicken, by comparison, are all up about 10% since last year.

"Even though turkey is popular, we were expecting higher numbers," said Research Associate Janet Music.

Pumpkin pie proved the most popular Thanksgiving dessert, especially among 18- to 34-year-olds, although Quebecers stood out for largely preferring apple crisp.

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