St. Patty’s Day Through the Procurement Lens


St. Patrick’s day originated in the 10th century as the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick, a solemn religious observance. From that pious beginning, St. Patrick’s day morphed (in just over 1,000 years) into a celebration often characterized by parades and green beer. While it doesn’t carry the gift-giving weight of Christmas or even Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day is big business – and you can bet retailers, restaurants and municipalities factored it into their sourcing and supply chain management plans back when the rest of us were Googling turkey brine recipes.

Let’s take a look at the procurement impact of St. Patrick’s Day:

  • 37 million Americans will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and they will spend an average of $36.52 per person to get their green on (an increase over last year.) Retailers and restaurants are smart to make sure they source and procure enough shamrock-tinted food, beverages and merchandise to get in on the action.
  • Revelers worldwide will spend an estimated $245 million on beer on St. Patrick’s Day. A good bit of that beer will be either green or Guinness (Not both, we hope. That’s just wrong.) Woe to the restaurant or bar that runs out of appropriate brew for thirsty leprechauns.
  • The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City in 1762. Today, more than 100 U.S. cities host St. Patrick’s Day parades, and they turn to their ePro and Sourcing systems for everything from traffic barricades to horse poop bags.
  • The Chicago River goes green for St. Patrick’s Day with the help of 45 pounds of non-toxic vegetable food dye. The exact formula for the dye is top-secret, which makes us wonder if the city sources ingredients from different vendors to protect it. Source:

The color originally linked to St. Patrick was not green, but blue. Observers began wearing green in the 18th century to show support for Irish independence. The sourcing patterns of every big-box and party store in the country would look very different if they were stocking their “seasonal” aisles with blue tchotchkes instead of green.


Did St. Patrick’s Day affect your procurement patterns this year? If so, we’d love to hear about it.

Please follow and like us: