You don't have to be psychic to intuit that sales of condiments spike just prior to Memorial Day weekend.
But which condiments benefit most from this holiday? Which meats tend to be purchased along with specific condiments?
According to grocery e-commerce transaction system MyWebGrocer, ketchup was the clear winner leading up to Memorial Day last year.
Ketchup accounted for 54% of all condiment sales in the two weeks prior to the holiday (May 11 to May 25), and ketchup sales increased 19% on a year-over-year basis during that time frame.
Ketchup also enjoyed a volume lift. Leading up to the holiday, 41% of bottles sold were the 38-ounce size, versus just 22% of bottles sold in an average, non-holiday week. (Twenty-ounce bottles dominate in an average week, accounting for 28% of sales, and 32-ounce bottles come in third, accounting for 15% of sales.)
Mustard accounted for 38% of condiment sales prior to last Memorial Day, and the condiment's sales increased by 18% on a year-over-year basis.
With mustard, the dominant size purchased continued to be the 12-ounce bottle; in fact, it became a bit more popular during the holiday run-up -- accounting for 30% of purchases, compared to 27% in an average week. Considerably more shoppers did buy the 20-ounce size of mustard, however: 14% for the holiday versus 9% in a standard week. Buys of the eight-ounce size rose to 17%, versus 15% in a typical week.
Relish accounted for just 8% of pre-Memorial Day condiment sales, but the category's year-over-year sales jumped by an impressive 32%.
Intriguingly, people were even less inclined than usual to buy the largest size of relish prior to the holiday: 23% bought 16-ounce jars versus 28% in a normal week. Instead, the dominant 10-ounce size showed even greater popularity, rising to 48% of sales versus 34% in a standard week. Buys of 9-ounce jars rose to 7% versus 5% in a standard week.
The results for which meats were most likely to be purchased along with condiments prior to the holiday are somewhat surprising.
Chicken wings were the most purchased with all three condiments -- indexing at 159 with ketchup buys, 163 with mustard and a whopping 407 with relish.
Hot dogs, followed by pork roll, were the next most-purchased meats with ketchup. Meatballs, followed by hot dogs, were the next most-purchased meats with mustard. Hot dogs, followed by sausage, were the next-most-purchased with relish.
Ground meat and chicken breasts/nuggets were much less likely to be purchased with condiments. Ground meat indexed at 94 with ketchup buys, 83 with mustard and 82 with relish. Chicken breasts/nuggets indexed at 95 with ketchup buys, 79 with mustard and 53 with relish.