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NEW YORK — Easter weekend means family gatherings and delicious feasts, but for some, all that celebrating can be more of pain than a joy. According to one survey, hosting a dinner at home is more stressful than catching a plane right before the gate closes, dropping your smartphone, and even trying to pass the SATs.

A 2023 poll of 2,000 U.S. adults who celebrate Easter found that 78 percent believe hosting a large dinner in their homes is stressful, and 59 percent find the holiday itself to be stress-inducing. Commissioned by The Honey Baked Ham Company and conducted by OnePoll, the study revealed the average person has had five large dinners hosted at home in the past 12 months.

Those large dinners were defined by respondents as being any meal that celebrates a big life event (22%), having a lot of family over (21%) and having guests over in general (19%).

Easter Shopping Can Be Stressful

When planning a large dinner, hosts worry the most about how much food they need to prepare (41%), how clean their home is (40%), figuring out how much time they need to prepare or cook food (40%) and if guests will like the food (39%).

For the average host, planning dinners starts seven days in advance, and food shopping starts six days in advance. And shopping for Easter dinners or lunch stresses out 60 percent of respondents.

Nearly half of those surveyed (48%) are planning to host people at their homes this Easter weekend, with an average of five guests at their gatherings. And despite 73 percent who believe the holiday should be as “stress-free” as possible, it’s a struggle for 74 percent who claim it is challenging to find what they need when food shopping.

Aside from shopping, Easter hosts are also banking on additional challenges during meal preparation: welcoming guests while prepping food (19%), time management (17%) and cleaning the kitchen (15%).

Are You Spending Too Much Time At The Supermarket?

“Spending time with your family and friends for a holiday shouldn’t be stressful,” says Chief Marketing Officer at The Honey Baked Ham Company Tripp McLaughlin, in a statement. “Sharing a meal with loved ones should be a joyful time. Our advice for Easter hosts is this: consider options like pre-cooked and sliced proteins or delicious easy-to-serve sides that help ease the stress of planning and prepping.”

The survey also revealed 59 percent of respondents find grocery shopping, in general, to be stressful. For 80 percent, it’s even more taxing if they have to shop in advance of hosting.

Forty-two percent were found to spend more time grocery shopping today than they did five years ago. Each week, the average person spends 41 minutes shopping for groceries from a single store. When hosting, people tend to spend even more time in the store, averaging 51 minutes per trip. And for 67 percent, one store isn’t enough — they “always” or “often” have to shop at multiple stores in order to find their weekly groceries. The average shopper has to hit three different stores to get what they need.

“Whether it be for Easter Sunday or any gathering with friends and family, grocery shopping should be lower on your list of concerns,” continues McLaughlin. “This research reinforces our mission of providing quality and convenient meal solutions for gatherings of any size.” 

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who celebrate Easter was commissioned by The Honey Baked Ham Company between February 17 and February 22, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

This article was first published April 7, 2023.

About Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds' Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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