Plenty of options for Thanksgiving
If you haven’t bought your Thanksgiving turkey yet, you may be in luck. A turkey price war broke out last week after a leading national grocery retailer announced it would offer many of the traditional Thanksgiving basket items at last year’s prices, including whole turkeys for less than $1 a pound. Some other grocers quickly followed suit, most likely hoping to make up for the “loss leader” pricing by getting customers to pick up other non-discounted items while they roam the aisles.
I’ll admit I felt a bit of sticker shock when I peaked at the price of turkey on a recent shopping excursion. A U.S. Department of Agriculture report last week said the average price for frozen turkey had risen to $1.99 a pound, up 73% from last year.
There are several factors behind the price spike, including overall inflation, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and strained food supply systems.
While HPAI has had a significant impact on U.S. supplies this year, there is expected to be plenty of turkeys to go around for Thanksgiving. And despite record prices, turkey demand remains strong at 14.9 pounds per capita this year and is forecast to increase to 15.7 pounds per capita next year, according to the USDA.
That’s good news for turkey farmers in Iowa, which ranks seventh nationally in turkey production. Of course, we also rank first in pork production and in the top 10 for cattle on feed. So whether the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table is turkey, pork or beef, you’ll have plenty of options to share with your loved ones.
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