- Anticipating a flurry of shoppers attempting holiday cooking for the first time, Whole Foods Market and Progressive Insurance announced Tuesday that they are teaming up to offer a Thanksgiving Turkey Protection Plan.
- Shoppers who buy their birds between Nov. 11 and Nov. 22 from the grocer will be eligible to receive a $35 Whole Foods gift card by submitting a claim online if they have a turkey fail. The gift cards will be given out to the first 1,000 claims starting Nov. 26.
- Whole Foods' "turkey insurance" comes as grocers are looking to make holiday meal prep easier for consumers, especially for those new to Thanksgiving cooking.
Whole Foods' turkey insurance is unique among grocers' Thanksgiving promotions, which traditionally center on product discounts and themed merchandising. In addition to being attention grabbing, the program will likely end up assuaging at least some consumers' kitchen frustrations during the hectic holiday.
In a video accompanying the announcement, Jamie, a character in Progressive ads, demonstrates outrageous options for preparing the turkey, including "Turkey in a Haystack," "Deboned and Reboned" and "Birdazzled" featuring rhinestones atop the bird.
Whole Foods' efforts fit into the larger pattern of grocers streamlining meal options as the pandemic limits restaurant offerings and puts a damper on large gatherings. The grocer’s website also has turkey storage tips, a buying guide for turkeys and Thanksgiving meal ideas to help shoppers navigate holiday meal prep.
Since the pandemic started, more than half of consumers have said they are eating at home more often, but, of those, 25% are getting tired of cooking, according to a recent report by sales and marketing agency Acosta. The report found that concerns about COVID-19 exposure at grocery stores (45%), meal planning fatigue (40%), not having the right ingredients (38%) and improving cooking skills (17%) are the top challenges consumers face to cooking more at home.
In addition to turkey insurance, Whole Foods used its announcement to encourage shoppers to plan and purchase meals early, promote deals for turkeys under the Whole Foods brand (uncooked organic for $3.49/lb and classic turkeys for $2.49/lb) and push Prime discounts. Whole Foods also highlighted its quality standards, noting that all of the turkeys it sells are free of antibiotics, given feed containing no animal by-products and go through third-party animal welfare audits. For shoppers who want to reduce their time in the kitchen, Whole Foods is bringing backs its Thanksgiving catering.
Shoppers are likely to stock up before winter arrives and participate in "Turkey Wednesday," the grocery shopping equivalent to Black Friday that takes place the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, according to analytics platform Placer.ai.