One simply cannot picture Thanksgiving without the traditional centerpiece, turkey roast.
However, living amid a pandemic means no crowded gatherings and no extensive traveling. Which means this year’s Thanksgiving tables would not be decorated with traditional Turkey.
Farmers and grocers are anxious about how meat preferences might change this Thanksgiving.
A survey conducted by Kroger revealed that almost half of the nation’s shoppers will be hosting a close-knit celebration. Research also indicated a growing demand for alternate meats, seafood, and vegan options such as soy meat.
Walmart announced that it will have whole turkeys, but they will also provide chicken breasts for people not wanting to bake the whole thing.
The turkey industry is finding it difficult to adapt.
However, the owner of Avedano’s Meat is optimistic that the sale of turkeys might escalate since everyone is going to be home. Nonetheless, Angela is also keeping a stock of smaller sized birds such as quails.
Many turkey farmers have also managed to timely modify their breeding strategies according to pivoting demands. For example, California breeder, Dede Boies, decided to harvest the turkeys a bit sooner this year.
This was a big risk because the last few weeks are the most crucial for the birds to gain more weight and become more flavorful.
However, Butterball Company claims that people do not want smaller sizes. Instead, the company’s research shows that 75% of buyers either want the same sized turkey or an even bigger sized turkey than before.
2020 looks like a bad year for the $4.3 billion U.S turkey industry as interest continues dropping gradually. The total sales of thanksgiving turkey are deteriorating as people have started searching for replacements.
Nielsen data shows that while in November 2019 the expenditure on turkeys fell by 3.5% compared to 2018, revenue earned from beef grew by 4%. Not to mention, more than double the money was earned by plant-based meat.
The executive director of LEAP believes the hardest blow will come to the grocery stores since they can neither raise nor discount turkey prices.
The same predicament will be faced in England during Christmas since Christmas turkey is a popular meal in the UK. Therefore farmers have started refining the diets to bring down their final weight.