Grocery Shopping · Holidays

Is a Free Turkey Good or Bad Grocery Business?


Hello and Happy Holidays my fellow buzzers! Here we are, once again knocking on the door of yet another Thanksgiving holiday. Like my family and I, and I am sure you all indulge in a bit more Thanksgiving dinner that you like to admit, but I am not here to judge anyone on their diet or eating habits. Instead, I want to talk about the sought after “prize” of grocery shoppers everywhere this time of year; the free turkey promotion.


One of the things that I always want to know this time of year, is which stores are offering a free turkey with your purchases? I have to admit that I was very  disappointed to learn that this year, Giant Foods was not going offer its usually free turkey promotion, which the company had been doing since 2000. I was shocked when I read an article that claimed that in recent years, that the turkey promotion had not been as popular, and so they decided against the promotion this year. I find it very hard to believe that customers were not taking advantage of the free turkey promotion. The argument was that more people had been redeeming bonus points for discounted gas rather than for a free bird.

A local Weis grocery store has large banners on the outside of their store which proudly boasts, “Free Turkey with 50 bonus points”. You get 10 bonus points for every $50 you spend. Simple math will tell you, that after spending $250, you will have earned your free turkey, up to a $20 value. The great thing is that this promotion started with Weis back in the middle of October, so it is pretty easy to rack up $250 in groceries in time for Thanksgiving.

When you search the web for “grocery store free turkey”, you find a few results that tell you about Weis markets and their free turkey promotion. On the other side of the coin, you also find articles that specifically explain that Giant Foods is not offering a free turkey this year. It is my understanding that Giant is focusing more on giving customers more off on their gasoline purchases as a consolation. As a marketing observer, it will be very exciting to watch this Thanksgiving week play out. Living in such close proximity to both a Weis Market, and a Giant Food store, I will be able to get a first hand look at how the free turkey promotion effects the holiday business of both. Do customers want their holiday turkey? Or do they want gas? Let me know your opinion on the matter. I would love to know where your vote lies. Would you be in it for the free bird, or would you prefer a slight break at the pumps?







3 thoughts on “Is a Free Turkey Good or Bad Grocery Business?

  1. I am not a turkey eater and would have redeemed my points for gas. However, Giant Foods could partner with local food banks and give customers an option to donate a turkey. However, my Mom often stated that people are hungry throughout the year. Giant Foods could become the industry leader and allow the accumulation of points during other months, for example January. Customers and others could benefit from the on-going effort to raise awareness about hunger.


  2. Honestly, I would be more inclined to redeem the points for gas as well. This being due to the fact that I am not a HUGE turkey eater, and when I do eat turkey it is typically for one day a year, being Thanksgiving. I am on the other hand ALWAYS in need of some gas.

    This is where I see the true double-edged sword rear its head. While my preference seems to be solid, someone else may see the scenario entirely different. For example, if you came from a lower income family and used public transportation as opposed to your own vehicle, you may be inclined to take the turkey.

    I believe the saying goes “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.



  3. I would have to say that even though I love turkey, the idea of discounted gas is a bigger draw for me. I think that it is interesting that the store doesn’t just do both like they have in the past. They can still have the turkeys in store and people will still purchase them at full price if they end up using their points on gas.


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