BOSTON – The co-leader of the Nixon Peabody Food & Beverage law practice, Janet Garetto, has released her outlook for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, predicting high store traffic, a need for pre-planning and scaled-back gatherings.  

“Grocery stores will likely continue to see strong crowds as customers settle down for quieter, local holidays,” Garetto said. “Food manufacturers will continue to work at high paces to meet customer demand during this holiday season. Food manufacturers will also continue to find ways to migrate food items that were traditionally sold to restaurants for in-person dining through other sources.” 

While holiday gatherings will likely be small this year, people are still going to want to enjoy holiday favorites, and Garetto expects an uptick in home cooking and home-based gatherings. 

There’s heightened opportunity for grocery retail this season, as restaurants that have traditionally focused on in-person holiday dining may be restricted by local governments from traditional holiday dining options, or experience decreased customers due to consumer hesitation from rising cases of COVID-19. 

Garetto suggests that food stores and manufacturers prepare for the capability to fully stock store shelves during the buying surge that will likely come with the holidays. She has already seen many stores setting product limits to prevent the empty shelves that were seen earlier this year.