Biz Features

Thanksgiving by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

by . November 25th, 2014

Every year, Americans the world over cap off autumn with Thanksgiving. It’s a time for family, gratitude, and obscene amounts of food.

But we don’t really think about how it started or the massive amounts of commerce necessary to make a modern Thanksgiving celebration possible. and Column Five have this neat infographic that outlines Thanksgiving, past and present.



  • Turkeys readily available today are easily twice the size of what we were eating 100 years ago, thanks to selective breeding.
  • The most common specially-bred thanksgiving turkeys (the Broad-breasted White) will not propagate in the wild, thanks to the fact their overdeveloped breast muscles make it difficult, if not impossible to breed. Battery-cage turkeys are usually artificially inseminated.
  • Heritage turkeys that more closely resemble wild turkeys are slowly becoming more popular as an alternative to modern “Super turkeys”. These tend to contain more dark meat than their cage-bred cousins, though they tend to produce much less meat per dollar of input.
  • No, turkeys do not drown when they look up at the rain.
  • Turkey the bird, was named after the country — but in a really roundabout way.
  • The corn the pilgrims ate looked way different from the corn we enjoy today. It more closely resembled the varieties pictured below. Unlike heritage turkeys, heritage corn varieties have not taken off as much yet.

Indian Corn

  • Macy’s Day Parade balloons as we know them may become a thing of the past in our lifetimes, thanks to the scarcity of helium. Long story short, there’s a finite amount of helium that we can easily harvest and when it escapes into the atmosphere, it’s gone for good. Its scarcity plus its utility in science and tech applications are causing helium prices to balloon.
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending estimates for 2014 range from 70 billion to 85 billion USD. Here’s Adobe’s 2014 Holiday Spending Predictions.
  • If you haven’t planned for this, better catch up.
  • The infographic is in orange hues with a few subdued green details – suggesting autumn, and pumpkins. Might not be much to most people, but when you’re trying to evoke ideas about Thanksgiving, it’s a pretty nice touch.
  • Again, branding is everything.

What are you thankful for? Comment below!


Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.