Thanksgiving Dinner Prep: Use Scientific Data To Reduce Stress and Keep Guests Content

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and it's time to think about what would be on your table this year. Although Thanksgiving stems from humble beginnings and is supposed to be a loving and relaxing time, many Americans find it the opposite.

According to consumer intelligence company, CivicScience, a survey of 6,742 U.S adults revealed that 71% of respondents feel some form of stress when thinking about the upcoming Thanksgiving.

To make your Thanksgiving a little stressful, we would like to share necessary market research regarding Thanksgiving with you that could make your Thanksgiving successful. By using science to your advantage, you will increase your probability of hitting the bullseye this Thanksgiving with your dinner.

Use this article as a guide for your Thanksgiving dinner and increase the odds of pleasing the people present at your dinner.


Thanksgiving is all about the turkey. It should be the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving meal, and most of the effort of preparing your meal should go into the bird. Or should it?

According to the international research data and analytics group, YouGov, only 86% of Americans see turkey as the main dish. The turkey is sometimes replaced by a chicken, but some families prefer beef or pork as their centerpiece.

Then there is also the smaller part of the population that have special dietary requirements, such as vegetarians, pescatarians, and vegans, to mention a few.

We recommend that you make sure that all your guests are satisfied at the dinner table. Don't assume that everybody would be fighting for a piece of the turkey just because it is Thanksgiving.

The Lehja Hand Forged 8" Chef's knife or Surudoi from Sikkina will make turkey carving a breeze. Even if you messed up the turkey, at least your guests would be impressed by your impressive carving knife.


As is the case with the turkey, there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to the side dishes accompanying your chosen center dish. Let's look at the data accumulated from the survey to establish which dishes would bring the most smiles to the table.

86% of Americans serve mashed potatoes during Thanksgiving dinner. Interestingly, people are experimenting with different variations of potato dishes to impress their guests. The trending healthy living movement in modern times inspires people to use healthier alternatives such as mashed cauliflower.

Don't dare to replace the mashed potatoes when you have guests from the Midwest! But we will talk more about this in the regional preferences section.

Sweet potatoes, which are considered part and parcel of Thanksgiving by many, scored less than what one would expect. Only 59% of people believe in preparing a sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving.

Stuffing or dressing scored high, as can be expected. 75% of Americans see stuffing as an essential side dish. 75% of people said they would be serving cranberry sauce, and 69% preferred to do Thanksgiving dinner rolls.

Thanksgiving dinner won't be the same without a delicious dessert following the central feast. For dessert, 66% of Americans will serve pumpkin pie.

Regional Preferences

Survey data that preferences for the main dish and side dishes vary across regions in the USA. It might be worth considering this data when deciding what to serve when you have out-of-state visitors attending your Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey or Ham?

Turkey remains the number one choice overall in all regions of America. Still, ham has a strong position in second place in many areas. In the Southern states, 41% of Americans prefer ham to turkey against the 32% in the West, 21% in the Midwest, and 19% in the Northeast.

Whether you decide on ham or turkey, we strongly recommend trying Sikkina's The Lehja Hand Forged 8" Chef's knife for your carving needs.

A mac and cheese side dish is more prevalent in some regions than in others. 41% of Southerners serve mac and cheese or a variation thereof, while only 28% of Westerners, 22% of Midwesterners, and 22% of Northeastern's prefer serving this famous dish for dinner during Thanksgiving.

The south also loves a green bean casserole accompanying their ham or turkey. 47% of Americans in the south and 45% in the Midwest serve this healthy dish. In comparison, only 27% of Northeasterners, 25% of Midwesterners, and 9% of Northeasterners would do the same.

Don't try to keep mashed potatoes away from a Midwestern guest. 59% of Midwesterners stated that mashed potatoes are their favorite Thanksgiving side dish. At the same time, the rest of the country put stuffing as their top choice for a side dish.

Who's the Thanksgiving chef?

Preparing all the dishes for Thanksgiving is a daunting task. Sometimes, the whole family jumps in to help organize and prepare everything in time. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Overall, 27% of American women would be doing everything by themselves. In comparison, only 15% of men take this responsibility on their own shoulders.

12% of women won't be setting their feet in the kitchen for Thanksgiving, while 34% of men would be doing something else instead of helping with the meal preparation.


Although you might have your favorite dishes lined up for Thanksgiving, you might want to consider making a few simple amendments to your menu to keep the peace and keep everybody happy at your table.

Although this article provided statistical data that could improve the probability of making all your guests happy, it is still highly recommended that you check in with each guest before going grocery shopping.

Regardless of who would be doing most of the cooking in your family, why don't you reduce the stress of preparing delicious healthy meals by ensuring the process is pleasurable.

Browse our products section and get your hands on a premium set of Sikkina chef's knives before Thanksgiving.