Sam & # 39; s Club is known for its large and bulky items, from huge packs of paper towels and oversized containers of laundry detergent to huge bags of snacks that can feed a party.
However, this holiday season, Walmart's own warehouse club is downsizing some groceries to better suit Americans' plans for reduced holiday celebrations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Expect smaller hams and scaled-down desserts.
Megan Crozier, Sam & # 39; s Club's chief merchandising officer, said the retailer added smaller packages during the pandemic as Americans' routines changed. It reduced the size of items including brownie packs and cake mixes. She said the little packs were selling well, so Sam & # 39; s Club decided to keep them and add vacation-themed additions.
Customers can find holiday hams in three sizes: 4 pounds, 7 pounds, and 10 pounds. You can buy green beans with garlic herb butter, sweet potato mash with cinnamon butter, and mac and cheese – all wrapped up as a side dish for a family of four. And packs of yeast rolls are a third of the typical size – a dozen instead of 36 pieces.
Sam & # 39; s Club is shaking up his vacation plans in other ways too. From October through December, the vacation savings drives will be extended to reduce the chance of large crowds and long lines that could contribute to the spread of Covid-19. The retailer already had its first Christmas sale, which started on October 4th. For the first time, at the end of October, he will send a large book of vacation offers to members' homes so that they can search and compile their shopping lists. And 2,000 employees will be hired in the supply chain to keep pace with increased demand and avoid stock shortages.
These steps come because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging Americans to make wise choices this holiday season. They proposed recipe swaps and zoom meetings this year to do high-risk activities like traveling to an indoor get-together of extended families and friends.
The Warehouse Club won't be the only grocer selling smaller appetizers and side dishes as the holidays approach. Ken Harris, managing partner of Cadent Consulting Group, said he had heard of many consumer products companies planning to resize. He said Americans are not only looking for items that go with their more intimate gatherings, but they're also leaning towards packs that will fit their budget better during the recession.
He said consumers will see shriveled staples in stores, from boxes of stuffing and jars of sauce to cranberry sauce and cheese.
"You can go through your vacation shopping list and these come in smaller sizes," he said.
"The opposite of & # 39; Supersizing & # 39;" is another retail trend that the pandemic has accelerated, he added. Other factors, from consumer desire for portion control to the growth of dollar stores to online shopping, had already put pressure on companies to downsize. In some cases, the new design could be a win-win situation for companies and customers. He pointed to the slim can of Coca-Cola that benefited the company's waistline and margins.
Kroger, the country's largest supermarket operator, said it will store its shelves and fridges differently for the holidays too. Approximately 43% of shoppers plan to celebrate Thanksgiving at home with just those in their immediate household. This is based on research by Krogers Data Science and Analytics companies 84,51.
The grocer has bought turkeys of all sizes to fit on any guest list and has a variety of proteins such as ham, roast pork, plant-based proteins and seafood in stock that first-time vacation chefs might choose instead, company spokeswoman Kristal Howard said.
Beth Breeding, spokeswoman for the National Turkey Federation, said selling the classic vacation dish could look unusual too. Around 40 million turkeys are consumed around Thanksgiving each year. She said some people could buy a smaller bird or choose to cook turkey breast or turkey thighs instead this year.
"We're going to see a mix on holiday tables this year," she said.
The trade group is preparing resources to help Americans adapt, Breeding said. A guide is put together for people tackling their first turkey this Thanksgiving Day because they can't fly home or spend the day with the family, and instructions on how to cook these alternatives, such as: B. a single turkey breast given.
And, she added, it will suggest what to do with something Americans may have more this year: leftovers.