Turkey-free T-day: A step forward

I found out about this too late to make it an action item for those concerned, but this is still worth noting as Thanksgiving, the year's big anti-vegan holiday, approaches.

Supermarket chains often run shopper-card promotions leading up to holidays, right? You know, run up X amount of purchases on your card during Y time span and you get a reward. Traditionally the reward has been a turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas, a ham for Easter.

This year, in what looks like a first (see below), Shop Rite is offering the traditional turkey, but also, for those who would prefer, a Tofurky Feast - yes, a vegan dinner!

A Shop Rite spokesperson confirmed that this was the first year the chain has offered the Tofurky (they have, though, previously had a cheese lasagna for lacto-ovo vegetarians), and said that as far as Shop Rite knows they are the first nationally prominent chain to do this - "at least around here" in the Northeast. "The idea actually came from one of our member stores," she said, and the company has been gratified to see how well the option is doing.

Now, as I said, this post is a little late for you to act on even if you wanted to. The deal involves racking up $300 on your card by Thanksgiving Day (the time window opened October 17, long before this came to my attention). However, two things to keep in mind: One, Shop Rite may very well repeat this next year - the Tofurky promotion "has exceeeded expectations - we're surprised at all the vegans out there" the spokesperson said - so pay attention (and so will I). And two, if you're vegan and you haven't procured your Thanksgiving foodstuffs yet, you might look into the options at Shop Rite as a way to, well, give thanks. They do have some good vegan items - the mere fact that they have Tofurkys should tell you something.

Now, as to the historic "first," I delayed this post a few days to try to exhaustively confirm with other chains that they had not done this before. I got a few no's and a few non-callbacks. Maybe some chain did do this, so I will gladly update this with any info someone can provide, but unless and until that happens I'm declaring Thanksgiving 2010 a historic occasion. Thanks to About.com's Doris Lin, who tipped me to this... and thanks, Shop Rite!