How Gen Z Is Rewriting Thanksgiving Dinner With Pizza

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been heralded as a family holiday centered around gorging on turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and all the trimmings. (For some, this can also mean full-on political debates that begin and end with too much bourbon-laden eggnog). While this might have been popular in the past, changes in the world — like in finances, diet, the definition of what family means, and in the way people celebrate — have made this standard scene more and more obsolete.

Though Smithsonian magazine notes that eating turkey has been a custom since the first Thanksgiving in 1621, many people have begun changing the menu and taking the standard main dish, turkey, out of the equation. The Takeout says that younger revelers, particularly those of Gen Z, are using their financially-savvy minds to choose cheaper foods. Instead of loading the table with mashed tubers, green bean casserole, and a roasted bird, a subset of Gen Z have instead purportedly opted to go with pizza on the holiday as a cheap, easy alternative.

One of the major contributing factors to the change in Thanksgiving fare is possibly the rising cost of groceries. A report done by Wells Fargo shows that turkey prices per pound are at an all-time high. Conversely, Wells Fargo's data shows that eating at limited-service restaurants has slowed at a considerable rate — meaning that the margin between both average price points has considerably narrowed. In turn, this has many opting out of the home-cooked meal.

Data shows that Gen Z hosts might be changing up Thanksgiving traditions

In addition to higher turkey prices, the recent Wells Fargo report shows that the price of groceries has risen 9.81% overall, and it might account for a change in the way some people currently celebrate Thanksgiving. According to a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by Daily Capital, 88% said that they intended to reduce the size of their meals. Around 57% percent said that they would be reducing the number of people attending their Thanksgiving; even then, 52% said they intended to request that anyone attending festivities hosted by respondents bring something to contribute to the meal. 

Among those surveyed, Gen Z-ers were also more likely to request that guests come bearing gifts: 75% asked that their guests bring some type of alcohol, while 46% asked that attendees bring dessert. Aside from that, some respondents look like they're opting to go a different route entirely. Indeed, many of the younger crowd also claimed they would be skipping the holiday altogether, with a full 32% of the Gen Z respondents planning to avoid Thanksgiving wholesale.