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Memorial Day Spending Seen Rising Slightly

Nearly a quarter of survey respondents expect to shell out more this year

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A typical Memorial Day barbecue spread includes burgers, hot dogs and beer. Photo: Patrick Allen Reynolds/iStock.com

Nearly three in five U.S. consumers (57%) plan to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, and 95% of celebrants plan to make purchases, with the top items being food and alcohol, a new study by market researcher Numerator has found.

Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27 this year) could also see slightly higher spending this year, the survey found. While 68% of Memorial Day shoppers plan to spend under $100 on their holiday supplies, nearly a quarter (23%) expect to spend more this year than they did last year.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Memorial Day weekend gatherings will involve getting together with family and friends (57%), grilling/barbecuing (52%), cooking or baking at home (29%), hosting others at their home (17%) and attending a public celebration (13%).
  • People are looking to get out of the house for Memorial Day 2024. Compared to what consumers said they did in 2023, more plan to attend a public celebration, travel, and go out to eat (all up +2% vs year ago) this year.
  • Nearly all celebrants plan to make Memorial Day weekend purchases. Food tops the shopping list (83% plan to purchase), followed by alcoholic beverages (44%), non-alcoholic beverages (33%), decorations (17%), party supplies (14%), candy (9%), and games or activities (9%).
  • Beer remains the most popular alcoholic beverage for the holiday (76%), followed by wine (42%), spirits or spirit-based drinks (36%), and hard seltzers or canned cocktails (35%).
  • Grocery stores will see the most shoppers this Memorial Day (65%), followed by big box stores (47%), liquor stores (24%), discount or dollar stores (18%), and local shops/small businesses (14%).

Numerator’s Q2 2024 Holiday Preview survey drew responses from 5577 consumers in April.  Purchasing insights were compiled using Numerator’s 150k household Total Commerce Panel, looking at data in the week leading up to Memorial Day 2023 versus the prior week period for beer and grocery sales and data from the equivalent period in 2023.

Click here for more from the survey.

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