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Published: Monday, 12/23/2013 - Updated: 2 years ago

Food sales, not just gift items, are big just before the holidays

The Meijer store on Central Avenue has increased food sales just before the holiday. The Meijer store on Central Avenue has increased food sales just before the holiday.

Some shoppers cram in their holiday shopping a day or two before Christmas Day, but the day before Christmas Eve is also a big consumer day to purchase the last minute items for Christmas dinner.

“This is an extremely busy day for us. It is usually the busiest day of the year,” said John Ellis, store director for Meijer on Central Avenue in Sylvania Township.

At Sautter’s Market on Main Street in Sylvania, co-owner Jim Sautter said the day before and day of Christmas Eve are days for which sales are comparable to Thanksgiving.

“This is the time of year people get together with family and celebrate, and they want something special, which we will make for them,” he said.

Kroger spokesman Jackie Siekmann said the grocery chain does have an increase in purchases just before the holidays. Kroger has a store on Monroe Street and Harroun Road and one on Sylvania Avenue at King Road in Sylvania.

“We always see an uptick in sales before holidays, especially major holidays like Christmas when families get together to celebrate with food," she said. "However, Christmas sales tend to spread out over a longer period than Thanksgiving, because some families celebrate the weekend before or after Christmas for travel reasons.”

Shoppers on Monday hustled into the 200,000-square foot Meijer store, which sells food and non-food items.

Kristen Hoffman, a Meijer shopper, still had to mark the Christmas dinner off her list.

“I try not to shop (on the day before Christmas Eve), but this year it had to be,” Ms. Hoffman of Swanton said. She was gearing up for a German-style dinner with 16 family members.

Marla O’hair of Maumee shopped with her mother Ann Rhodes of Sylvania for the family meal that is a smorgasbord of finger foods, from sandwiches to dips, for about 20 people.

“I’m getting a little bit of Christmas gifts and food,” Ms. O’hair said as she pushed a half-filled cart through the Meijer produce aisles. She usually does her holiday meal shopping a week before, but this year she was asked to get vegetables and wanted the food to stay fresh.

Two popular items sought by many shoppers are ham and the prime rib, Mr. Ellis said.

At Sautter’s,  customers seek out specialty items, such as wine, custom-made party trays from the deli, and hand-made desserts made by the in-house pastry chef as well as meats such as tenderloin and rib roasts, Mr. Sautter said.

At Kroger, Ms. Siekmann , said customers seek out the typical holiday foods such as hams and purchase breakfast foods for Christmas morning. 

Giant Eagle issued a statement, which reads in part: “We’ve welcomed a large number of customers at each of our Toledo area stores today, equaling if not surpassing the traffic we experienced on Sunday." Popular sales items included ingredients for holiday dishes and fresh-food trays, the statement said.

Representatives for Andersons Market on Sylvania Avenue said managers were too busy with customers to comment.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.

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