Happy Thanksgiving from your Friends at Izenda!

By November 25, 2015Analytics

Preparing for Thanksgiving Day feastHopefully, you also are enjoying the day off, with at least a four-day weekend to enjoy time with family, friends, turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing (dressing here in Georgia) and, of course, NFL and college football.

Most of us have plenty for which we are thankful. Here at Izenda, that would include our great coworkers, independent software vendors and clients. As our embedded business intelligence software company grows, we’ll be glad to be joined by more coworkers and clients. On the home front, we are thankful for our families and friends, too.

The work of many of our ISV and solution vendor clients will be in heavy use even on the holiday, as it supports industries that never seem to close such as healthcare, box office and Internet ticket sales and, of course, retail. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are coming soon. Wait, Black Friday is already here since so many retailers open their physical and cyber storefronts on Thanksgiving Day.

Since Izenda is a business intelligence software company that strives to help ISVs provide solutions to accessing and analyzing data, this would be an appropriate time to share some data about the holiday.

If your Thanksgiving plans including a family feast with some visiting relatives, the American Farm Bureau Federation calculates you’ll be spending $50.11 to feed 10 people. That’s a 70 cent increase from last year. The 16-pound turkey cost about $1.30 more than last year, priced on average at $23.04.

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 30th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $50.11, a 70-cent increase from last year’s average of $49.41.

A Thanksgiving Feast for 10

  • 1990 $28.85
  • 2000 $32.37
  • 2014 $49.41
  • 2015 $50.11

Back in 1990, this same meal would have cost $28.25. Adjust for inflation, according to these figures, the cost was effectively the same.

The big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – came in at a total of $23.04 this year. That’s about $1.44 per pound, an increase of fewer than 9 cents per pound, or a total of $1.39 per whole turkey, compared to 2014. Read more about this on the federation’s website or in Carla Caldwell’s story in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

An IT project manager doesn’t need to be a cook to know planning is everything for Thanksgiving dinner just like it is for developing software. It still takes weeks of planning and at least several days of work to prepare this feast. Don’t believe me, trust in the Food Network. Hopefully, your family’s turkey was already is in the refrigerator thawing earlier this week, because it probably won’t be if you just pull it out of the freezer overnight. Cooking it takes around 4 hours, give or take a quarter of an hour or more. (But use that thermometer to make sure it’s fully cooked before serving!)

If this year’s feast doesn’t go according to plans, your family won’t appreciate it if you pull out your project management software to plan next year’s Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t emulate the work you perform for an application. Just use something like the Food Network’s Thanksgiving Countdown Planner.

The First Thanksgiving

Sometime in the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. (How many of you have cooked a turkey big enough for at least a feast that long?) These early settlers of Plymouth Colony are recognized as celebrating what now is regarded by many as the first Thanksgiving. The Wampanoag Indians played a key role in the feast and the colonists’ survival. For them, giving thanks was a part of daily life. The 2010 Census puts the tribe’s population at 6,500.

Plymouth Rock

A total of 32 counties, places and townships are named Plymouth, as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims. The two counties are in Massachusetts (507,022) and Iowa (24,874).

Mapping “Turkey”

Four places in the United States are named after the holiday’s traditional main course:

  • Turkey Creek Village, LA (population 443)
  • Turkey Creek, AZ (412)
  • Turkey City, TX (396)
  • Turkey Town, NC (296)

Eleven townships also have “Turkey” in their names.

The number of turkeys forecast to be raised in the United States in 2015 is 228 million. But apparently that’s not enough, as in 2014 the nation imported $24 million worth of turkeys from Canada. And the nation ran a $16.5 million trade deficit in live turkeys during that period.

How Many Sweet Potatoes?

While the United States imported $6.6 million worth of sweet potatoes from the Dominican Republic (48.8% of imports), it still managed a surplus of $98.3 million of the tubers. In 2014, the major sweet potato producing sites grew 3 billion pounds of the tuber.

Cranberry Counts

Seven places and townships in the nation are named Cranberry, a side dish you might find at Thanksgiving dinner. The top two in population both are in Pennsylvania: Cranberry township in Butler County with 30,170 residents, and Cranberry township in Venango County next largest with 6,546 residents.

The 2015 U.S. cranberry production was forecast to be 841 million pounds, with 503 million pounds grown in Wisconsin and 211 million pounds in Massachusetts.

Gas or Electric?

The percentage of households with a gas or electric stove was 98.6% in 2011. The 96.8% of households with microwaves might be glad to have them if food needs to be warmed up when the turkey takes too long to cook.

A good number of households use turkey fryers, but be careful – the National Fire Protection Association still believes turkey fryers using cooking oil are not safe to use even by a careful consumer. That hot oil can be ignited, splashed or spilled – exceedingly hazardous events for your health. Consider getting a professional at a grocery store or other location to prepare your fried turkey, or use an oil-less fryer.

Parades and Football By the Numbers

What Thanksgiving morning is complete without watching a parade? And what holiday afternoon – and evening — would be complete without a football game? With 98.3% of households having a TV in 2011 and many consumers with iPads and other tablets allowing them to watch shows anywhere with a signal, these rituals also can easily be continued. Just try to stay awake to watch after eating that big turkey dinner.

And for some reading that’s lighter than that meal, check out “What Your Part of America Eats on Thanksgiving” in an article by Walt Hickey on FiveThirtyEight.com.

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