More than a quarter of Americans are tired of just eating traditional Thanksgiving food

4 min readNov 19, 2019
A study by OnePoll in conjunction with Hardee’s explored the Thanksgiving habits of 2,000 Americans. (Photo by Preslie Hirsch on Unsplash)

Move over, turkey! More than a quarter of Americans are tired of traditional Thanksgiving food, according to new research.

The poll of 2,000 Americans who celebrate Thanksgiving discovered that 26 percent would like to see alternative food options on the table this year.

Celebrating an “alternative Thanksgiving” — breaking from the age-old meal traditions — is already taking off, with nearly half of Americans (45 percent) having already joined in on the trend or planning to in the future.

In fact, 43 percent of those studied would be open to celebrating an alternative Thanksgiving this year.

The new study by OnePoll, in conjunction with Hardee’s, explored the Thanksgiving habits of 2,000 Americans and uncovered that Americans are tired of turkey — in fact, serving something other than turkey is the number one way people want to switch up their Thanksgiving meal.

A full 64 percent of Americans would switch out the standard bird — and 30 percent have already made the jump.

It’s no wonder people are opting for something a little different as the star of the meal, as nearly one in four respondents says turkey is one of the most overrated Thanksgiving menu items.

Other ways Americans are breaking from their Thanksgiving traditions include going out to eat instead of having a home-cooked meal (35 percent) and incorporating non-traditional sides into the meal (33 percent).

And it’s not just turkey Americans are trying to innovate, they’re tired of the traditional recipes served including mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, with 53 percent reporting they’d like to see new side dishes on the menu this year.

“The people have spoken, and it’s time to put a fresh spin on the holiday classics,” said Owen Klein, VP of Culinary Innovation at CKE Restaurants, parent company of Hardee’s. “Consumers are craving new ways to enjoy the flavors of the season, and Hardee’s Thanksgiving Box is the perfect way to break from the same tired take on sweet potatoes and green beans, and enjoy Thanksgiving throughout the holiday season.”

So why are Americans trying to break from Thanksgiving traditions this year? Cooking and preparing is just too much for nearly a third of respondents who want to make things easier on themselves and others, while 28 percent say they’re simply bored of the same thing year after year.

Other reasons for shaking things up this Thanksgiving include a desire to reduce or eliminate stress associated with Thanksgiving (25 percent), a desire to make new traditions with their families (23 percent) and wanting to do something a little more low-key for the holiday (21 percent).

At the end of the day, it’s all about the people we’re spending it with, with 69 percent revealing their favorite part of the day is time spent with family.

That, and a little old-fashioned time off, of course — 34 percent list one of their favorite parts of the traditional Thanksgiving as the days off from work.

“Thanksgiving is a time to take a little break from our daily routine and spend a little well-deserved time with friends and family,” Klein said.


  1. Cranberry sauce 37%
  2. Sweet potatoes 27%
  3. Green beans 25%
  4. Macaroni and cheese 24%
  5. Turkey 24%


  1. Serving something other than turkey as a main dish 40%
  2. Going out to eat instead of having a home-cooked meal 35%
  3. Traveling for the holiday/going on vacation 33%
  4. Incorporating non-traditional sides into the meal 33%
  5. Trying new spins on conventional dishes 32%


  1. Want to make the holiday easier 31%
  2. Bored of the same thing year after year 28%
  3. Desire to reduce/eliminate stress associated with Thanksgiving 25%
  4. Desire to make my own traditions with my own family/partner 23%
  5. Want to do something more low-key 21%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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