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For less than $25, Target offers Thanksgiving dinner

Target 2023 Thanksgiving meal deal-dinner

Target invited WGB and other media to try its $25 Thanksgiving meal deal last week at a star chef-prepared dinner in Manhattan. / Photos by Russell Redman

Target Corp. has jumped into the affordable Thanksgiving dinner fray after consumers grappled with high costs last year.

Minneapolis-based Target on Wednesday unveiled a Thanksgiving meal serving four people that it said costs less than $25, including turkey at under $1 per pound, as well as an array of sides and desserts for less than $5. The items are available both in stores and via Target.com.

Target’s $25 Thanksgiving meal deal is composed primarily of items from the retailer’s Good & Gather private brand. Those hosting a larger Thanksgiving party, the retailer noted, can double the list to serve eight guests.

The meal includes the following products:

• Good & Gather Premium Basted Young Turkey (frozen, 10 lbs.)
• Good & Gather Russet Potatoes (5 lbs.)
• Good & Gather Cut Green Beans (14.5 oz.)
• Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup (22 oz.)
• Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce (14 oz.)
• Stove Top Turkey Stuffing Mix (6 oz.)
• Heinz HomeStyle Roasted Turkey Gravy (12 oz.)

Target Thanksgiving Meal Deal 2023-products

The products in Target's Thanksgiving meal for under $25 include private and national brands. / Photos courtesy of Target

Last week in Manhattan, Target gave Winsight Grocery Business and other media a preview of the $25 Thanksgiving meal by treating them to a dinner made with items from the list by Michelin-star Chef Charlie Mitchell. Hosting the feast was Rick Gomez, executive vice president and chief food and beverage officer at Target.

“We’ve been very committed to delivering value for our guests. And what we recognize is right now—with inflation, with the economy—our guest is looking for affordability,” Gomez told WGB in an interview at the Oct. 23 dinner, held at the renowned James Beard House of the James Beard Foundation, which supports America’s food culture, quality and sustainability.

“We’ve done bundled meal offerings before at Easter, and it really resonated with our guests,” Gomez noted. “So that’s why we’re doing this for Thanksgiving, and we’ll continue to come up with creative ways to deliver affordable options for our guests.”

The turnkey, price-savvy Thanksgiving dinner also dovetails with Target’s efforts to serve up more solutions for convenient meals.

“Yes, it’s a meal solution, which is also a big opportunity,” Gomez said at the dinner. “Our guests keep telling us they want to get out of the food rut, and they’re looking for something that’s easy to make, that’s affordable, that everyone is going to love. So we’ve had a lot of success with our meal bag business, which is a grab-and-go meal in a bag for less than $15. And that’s an area we’ll continue to innovate in.”

Rick Gomez-Target-Oct2023 Thanksgiving dinner announcement

Besides value, Target customers also are seeking convenient meal solutions this Thanksgiving, Chief Food and Beverage Office Rick Gomez said at the Manhattan dinner. / Photo by Russell Redman

To round out the Thanksgiving meal, Target said it’s offering a selection of other “must-have fixings." They include side dishes for less than $5, such as Caesar salad, seasoned sweet potatoes, vegetables, lemon-basil rice and mac-and-cheese, plus desserts for under $5, like the retailer’s Favorite Day-brand apple crisp ice cream, pumpkin spice soft sandwich cookies and mini pecan pies. Also available are adult beverages for $5, such as California Roots cabernet sauvignon wine and chardonnay white wine, and for the first time, Bellante prosecco and Bellante prosecco rosé from U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer.

This Thanksgiving holiday season, Target also is touting the convenience of ordering online. Customers can order everything for the $25 Thanksgiving meal deal at Target.com and pick up items in-store or have a Target associate bring the items to their vehicle through the free Drive Up service (click-and-collect orders ready within two hours). They can have items delivered to their doorstep in as soon as one hour via Target’s same-day Shipt service ($35 order minimum, with deliveries free for Shipt members or $9.99 per order non-members). Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can use their benefits to pay for eligible grocery items in- store or via Target.com, the Target app or mobile payment options.

Thanksgiving meal competition heats up

VIDEO: Target offering Thanksgiving meal for under $25 – here's what comes with it
WGN News

Earlier this month, both Target rival Walmart and discount grocer Aldi announced Thanksgiving meal deals. Starting Nov. 1, Walmart will offer a traditional Thanksgiving meal for up to 10 people for just over $70, about $2 less than last year. Also on that date, Aldi plans to cut prices on more than 70 Thanksgiving favorite items—including potatoes, pumpkin pie, cranberries, butter and flour—that the company said will provide an average savings of 30% on a typical Thanksgiving meal for 10.

Full-meal bargains from grocery retailers will be a welcome change for consumers compared with last Thanksgiving season. In its 2022 survey, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) reckoned the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people at $64.05, up $10.74 from $53.31 in 2021. The 20% increase came atop a 14% rise in 2021, when food-at-home price inflation began to escalate. That had followed a 4% decrease to $46.90 in 2020—the lowest price tag for a Thanksgiving dinner since 2010.

Citing data from Mintel, AFBF this month reported that the average price for an 8- to 16-lbs. turkey stood at $1.27/lb., 22% lower than the same time last year.

Convenience also is being pitched for a simpler-to-prepare Thanksgiving feast this year. Meal kit providers HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon, Home Chef and Dinnerly are among a range companies offering ready-to-make options for Turkey Day. Also, specialty grocer The Fresh Market on Wednesday unveiled its Holiday Turkey Market Meal Kit for 2. Priced at $19.99, the kit includes turkey breast medallions, mashed sweet potatoes, wild rice pilaf, peppercorn gravy, green beans, seasoning and olive oil.

Russell Redman, executive editor at Winsight Grocery Business, is a veteran business editor and reporter who has been covering the retail industry for more than 20 years, primarily in the food, drug and mass channel.

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