Cracking the Memorial Day Spending Code

March 05, 2018

Memorial Day mixes solemnity and celebration in a unique way. Not only is it a day to honor fallen soldiers, but it also heralds the unofficial start to summer and kicks off the grilling season.

About 96% of employers make Memorial Day a paid holiday. Six in 10 consumers grill on Memorial Day, making it the second-most popular grilling holiday (July Fourth is No. 1).

Memorial Day is on Monday, May 28, 2018. To help prepare for those shoppers looking for Memorial Day sales, we provide an overview of what consumers are most likely to buy during the holiday weekend and examine grilling trends.

Dropping Dollars

Consumers sure like to shop on Memorial Day. 41% of Americans are likely to take advantage of Memorial Day deals.

The average consumer plans to spend $78.34 during Memorial Day. The top categories that consumers plan to drop dollars on during the Memorial Day weekend are:


The average consumer spends $1,536 on a mattress and box spring.


Household appliance consumption is expected to grow 36% from 2014 to 2020.

Home Goods

Shoppers expect 20% to 90% off on home goods during Memorial Day weekend!

Auto Parts and Accessories

The average car on the road is 11.5 years old.

Spring Apparel

Average monthly clothing spend by demographic: ages 25-34 spends $161 monthly on clothes; adults 35-44 spend $209 monthly on clothes; and the average family spends $150 per month.


36% of consumers planned to travel for Memorial Day in 2017.

Get Grilling

Seven in 10 U.S. adults own a grill or smoker and most will break it out for Memorial Day weekend. We divide grilling trends into two categories: grilling preferences and top foods to grill on Memorial Day.

The Grill Gospel

Gas or charcoal? Whether they are replacing a grill or specifying why they enjoy it, consumers have clear preferences when it comes to their grills.

The most popular grill types are:

64% Gas

44% Charcoal

9% Electric

Top purchasing trends:

56% of grills are purchased as replacements

29% of grills are first-time purchases

83% of grill owners own 3 or more accessories

Top reasons consumers like to get their grill on:

72% flavor

52% lifestyle

40% entertainment

33% convenience

19% hobby

18% flexibility

18% health

Favorite Foods

What’s cooking? What’s on the grill may be just as important as what’s under it.

Most-grilled foods:


Americans eat about 50 Billion burgers a year.


The average U.S. consumer eats over 53 pounds of beef per person per year.

Hot Dogs

818 hot dogs are eaten per second on Memorial Day.

Corn on the Cob is

It’s the most popular side dish on a grill.

Most popular BBQ sauce flavors:

• hickory

• mesquite

• honey

• spicy-hot

Memorial Day meat sales:

Beef $778,577,592

Chicken $362,207,375

Pork $207,541,912

Shrimp $75,157,818

Salmon $44,171,750

Tuna $2,745,099

Memorial Day produce sales:

Berries $224,300,016

Value-Added Fruit $119,280,907

Tomatoes $111,719,085

Value-Added Vegetables $68,888,840

Cherries $62,611,486

Avocados $55,513,899

Lettuce $49,546,245

Corn $37,976,868

Pineapple $13,051,521

Service Tags: 
Marketing Strategy