What Do Thanksgiving and Insurance Distribution Have in Common?

November 23, 2016
By Kathleen Garlasco

Thanksgiving blog image updated.jpg

Thanksgiving is a time for feasting and reflecting on the blessings and good fortune of life, and though the holiday may have been based on the traditions of the early settlers to the American colonies, the very first Thanksgiving would hardly be recognized by most Americans today. Did you know that:

  • For the original Pilgrims, their Thanksgiving feast was actually preceded by a religious fast to show their gratitude for the bounty of the harvest that year?[i]
  • Turkey was not even on the menu? Instead, the settlers joined native inhabitants in a feast of deer, duck, geese and seafood.[ii]
  • No forks were used to enjoy all of that good holiday food? In fact, forks weren’t even introduced in the colonies for another ten years. Instead, a broad flat knife served the dual purpose of cutting food and ladling it to the mouth.[iii]

The First National Thanksgiving

The first official national Thanksgiving was held in 1777 as a somber day of reflection. It wasn’t until 1827 that Sarah Josepha Hale began campaigning for an ongoing observance of the holiday. President Lincoln finally granted her petition in 1863,[iv] and so began many of the basic traditions we know and love today:

  • 91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day. That amounts to 46 million turkeys each holiday,[v] a number that has doubled since 1991.[vi]
  • More than 40 million green bean casseroles are eaten on Thanksgiving,[vii] but the tradition didn’t start until at least 1955 when the dish was created in the Campbell Soup test kitchen.[viii]
  • 20% of the nation’s consumption of cranberries happens on Thanksgiving Day.[ix]
  • 50% of American’s eat stuffing that was baked inside the turkey.[x]

Insurance distribution, like Thanksgiving, has undergone a series of evolutions to arrive at this season of transition, where multi-faceted digital technologies stand to revolutionize the industry, making it easier for insurers to protect their customers and help them mitigate risk. As with any holiday feast, the options in the P&C insurance industry are plentiful, and BOLT is grateful to the many participants who utilize the BOLT PlatformTM and bring the bounty of their insurance offerings to our market network to fuel the future of 21st-century insurance.


[i] LaPlante, Eve. "The Opposite of Thanksgiving." The New York Times, 18 Nov. 2007. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

[ii] Grundy, Kim, and By Kim Grundy ^. "20 Thanksgiving Fun Facts That Will Totally Impress the Kids." AllParenting. She Knows, 15 Nov. 2013. Web. 

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] "Plimoth Plantation." Thanksgiving History | Plimoth Plantation. Plimouth Plantation, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

[v] Grundy, Kim, and By Kim Grundy ^. "20 Thanksgiving Fun Facts That Will Totally Impress the Kids." AllParenting. She Knows, 15 Nov. 2013. Web. 

[vi] "Turkey History & Trivia." Turkey History & Trivia | National Turkey Federation, 2016. Web.

[vii] "Thanksgiving Fun Facts." Ohio University Commons. Ohio University, 24 Nov. 2014. Web.

[viii] Lowe, Peggy. "Green Bean Casserole: The Thanksgiving Staple We Love - Or Loathe." NPR. NPR, 24 Nov. 2015. Web. 21 

[ix] Ibid.

[x] Ibid.

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