Poll Reveals America’s Least Favorite Thanksgiving Foods


It’s time to finalize our Thanksgiving dinner plans, and even though our gathering will be just our household this year, that doesn’t mean that we’re skipping the traditional meal. We will have turkey, and if we forget to defrost it we will cook it in the Instant Pot. We will have traditional side dishes, like green bean casserole and mashed potatoes. We will have pie for dessert, because it’s not Thanksgiving without pie.

You probably have certain foods your family always eats on Thanksgiving. If you’re used to traveling for Thanksgiving, this may be your first year preparing the meal yourself. If you’re choosing to play it safe and follow the CDC guidelines to stay home and celebrate the holiday with members of your immediate household, then you might want to consider making a smaller than usual meal.

If there is a side dish you particularly love, make that. If there is a traditional Thanksgiving dinner food that nobody in your family really likes, there is no rule saying you have to make it. Especially with all the craziness that has filled 2020, we say, make this the best Thanksgiving dinner yet.

How do you do that? It’s helpful to know what traditional foods are the most and least popular. There are some trends that differ from state to state. For example, on the west coast, many people look forward to eating mashed potatoes, while on the east coast, many people want mac and cheese. When it comes to desserts, your immediate family probably only needs one, but what do you choose? Popular pie options include pumpkin, apple and pecan.

If you’re trying to narrow down your menu, you can probably skip the canned cranberry sauce. According to findings from 2019 Instacart data, many people buy cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, but they only buy it and eat because of tradition. Almost half of Americans think canned cranberry sauce is “disgusting.”

According to this same Instacart survey, other traditional foods that many Americans only eat out of tradition include green bean casserole, sweet potatoes and sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie and turkey. That’s right; 19% of Americans secretly hate eating turkey on Thanksgiving!

In all, 68% of Americans say that there is at least one traditional Thanksgiving food that they dislike but eat anyway out of tradition. Perhaps you should poll your family before you make a last minute trip to the grocery store or before placing an Instacart order.

One surprising thing people seem to really like eating for Thanksgiving is Cheese Whiz. According to Instacart, “Last year, we tracked a 158% increase in Cheez Whiz sales in the three weeks before Thanksgiving. Compare that to a 126% increase before Christmas, our runner up period for Cheez Whiz sales.”

So, if you’re keeping up with the data you can skip the canned cranberry sauce, reconsider making green bean casserole and definitely add Cheese Whiz to your shopping list.

What is your least favorite traditional Thanksgiving food? Do you eat it anyway out of tradition?