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Almost Half of Americans Rely on Tech to Complete Their Holiday Meals

The holiday season, while meant to be a joyous time, isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year. In fact, studies have shown that 62% of people get stressed out during this season, and that cooking the holiday feast is high on the list of holiday stressors (at 36%).

But with the further integration of technology into our lives, there are new ways to help check off everything on your list... without having to check it twice (sorry, Santa). Same day delivery on presents, interconnected Christmas lights, gift-tracking apps, and grocery delivery services are all available to help you create holiday magic with ease.

We wanted to understand just how reliant consumers are on these services. We surveyed people across the nation and analyzed our own internal data. Turns out, the trend of using tech to make the holidays simpler has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years. Read on to see how tech helps spread holiday cheer and what dishes aren’t getting the homemade treatment this season.

Kylie Isn’t the Only One Who Forgets an Ingredient

You may have laughed at Kylie Jenner’s order of a single carrot to complete her soup, but the use of delivery services to make up for forgotten ingredients is a growing trend. Because of the sheer amount of things that need to get done during this time, it’s common for people to develop “holiday brain,” or the tendency to forget simple tasks because of stress.

And while forgetting something important used to mean a frantic trip to the grocery store while your guests wait, now consumers can simply order more butter or an extra potato on their phones whenever and wherever. This allows them to spend more time with family and avoid the crowded supermarkets while still delivering a dinner that impresses.

According to our survey, almost half of consumers (48%) have forgotten a key ingredient for holiday dinner, with 10% of those admitting that they always forget something important. Those most likely to forget something important are 55–64 year old home cooks, as 62% of them admitted to a grocery store slip up.

Now that we know just how many people forget an ingredient for their festivities, the question remains: What are they most likely to get delivered?

Dessert is a Serious Matter

No matter the holiday, family dinners are a multicourse affair. And to help speed up the process without compromising on taste, families nationwide are choosing to outsource some portions of their feast to professionals. We surveyed over 1,000 people nationwide on their delivery plans.

While not everyone can whip up a creme brulee or the perfect deviled egg on a moment’s notice, cooking the main course is usually a coveted tradition. But this year, convenience culture is taking a front seat as desserts, appetizers and—you guessed it—the main course are the three most likely items to be ordered for delivery. Other honorary mentions chosen by consumers include alcohol, side dishes and the entire holiday meal.

Dinner, Minus a Side of Anxiety

The average host knows that multitasking, while sometimes valuable, isn’t always necessary. Why try to do 100 things at once when you can get someone else to do it for you?

Looking at our own internal data, we discovered that our customers collectively placed over 2.3 million orders throughout December 2017 and over 4.5 million orders in December 2018. This 95% year over year increase means that not only are people aware of just how beneficial delivery can be, but local businesses are also seeing the benefits as well.

Contrary to popular belief, the most important dinner of the season doesn’t have to be homemade to be delicious. Our data shows that consumers are ordering a larger amount of smaller orders each year, meaning that they are increasingly relying on outside sources for part, if not all, of their family dinners. In fact, delivery orders placed during Christmas week more than doubled (a 123% increase) from 2017 to 2018, a trend we expect to continue as consumers get busier and busier every year.

What was most surprising about our customers trends was not how much they are ordering, but what they order. Over the past few years, the most ordered items throughout the holiday season include burritos, burrito bowls, french fries and soda. On Christmas Day, french fries, soda, tacos and even garlic naan topped the list in 2017 and 2018.

When looking at state trends, our survey showed that priorities were shifting. States like Virginia, Oregon and Massachusetts only care about keeping the party going (read: ordering booze). But some places, such as Illinois and Alabama, are taking the year off and ordering the entire meal via delivery. And they might be onto something, as one survey found that 48% of people say cooking is a major contributor to "festive burnout."

Leaving dessert to the pros, ordering your Turkey to-go or turning on all your Christmas lights with one button might be a relatively new development in the holiday space, but it’s clear that this trend is catching on quick. As consumers look for ways to increase their productivity and decrease their stress, apps and other online services are swiftly becoming a crucial component to their everyday lives. If you’re interested in taking your festive spread to the next level, leave the hard work to us and place an order with a restaurant near you. And see just how good it feels to finally enjoy the holidays again.

Methodology: This information was collected using Google Surveys on October 14th. Survey questions and results can be provided by request.

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