January 27, 2023 | 5 min read

Platform data insights: Holiday spending by the numbers


As a modern card issuing platform that processed $110 billion in card spend in 2021, Marqeta leverages data* to optimize platform performance for our customers. From this vantage point, we also have a unique perspective on consumer spending, as trends on Marqeta’s platform provide one measure of how consumers are approaching cyclical retail seasons like the holidays. For example – data from the 2022 holiday season provides insight into how Americans celebrated. Some of the trends our team observed:

Last-minute grocery purchases 

We’re creatures of habit – and our habit is not planning in advance for Thanksgiving dinner. The day before Thanksgiving remains the busiest of the month for grocery stores with shopping traffic patterns that closely mirrored 2021’s data. With an average transaction value of under $50 during this period, most grocery shoppers seemed to be picking up last minute items vs. doing one big shop. So if you panic-purchased gravy mix and a bottle of wine on Nov. 23, you were far from alone.

Holiday gift-giving (and treating ourselves)

The holiday season is busy for American retailers that anticipate an annual surge of customers in November and December. This pattern continued in 2022, with third-party, industry research organizations estimating that total holiday spend increased around 7%. However, there were exceptions in some categories. For example, after average purchase amounts for jewelry and electronics increased by 26% from the 2020 holiday season to 2021, they decreased 12.8% in 2022 when comparing  Nov/Dec 2021 to Nov/Dec 2022. 

Dining out

Restaurant spending rose to start Thanksgiving week, but fell away before Thanksgiving and stayed flat for a couple of days afterwards. After the feast, you might think that we’d all be ready to go out to dinner and let someone else do the cooking, but people seem more than content to stay in. Perhaps it’s the great leftovers. 

**This material is a product of Marqeta, Inc. and is provided to you solely for general information purposes. The content has been prepared by members of the Marqeta, Inc. data analytics team. Opinions and estimates constitute our judgment as of the date of this material and are subject to change without notice. The data relied on for this report are based on past transactions and may not be indicative of future results.  Marqeta, Inc. is not an advisor. Nothing in these materials should be construed as investment, tax, legal, accounting, financial, regulatory or other professional advice (including within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) or as creating a fiduciary relationship. As the statistics take into account only Marqeta’s data, no representation or warranty is made as to the completeness of the data and it may not reflect all trends in the market. All customer data used or represented is anonymous and aggregated before analysis.

Learn more about Marqeta’s platform capabilities here.

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