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IRI Data Shows Ample Turkey Supply in U.S.

Specialty Food Association

Retailers are confident in their supply of turkey supply, market researcher IRI said last week.

“Sales of whole-bird turkeys, including frozen, fresh, and both by-the-pound and pre-weighted options, are strong, and our conversations with retailers and suppliers suggest that they expect to have ample turkey options in-stock in the week leading up to Thanksgiving,” said Dr. Krishnakumar S. Davey, president of client engagement for IRI, in a statement.

“IRI data continues to show that Thanksgiving turkey sales have been early and elevated nationwide, including record sales for whole-bird turkeys in October and through the first week of November,” Davey added.

Key insights from IRI and its partners through the week of November 7, 2021:

  • Ample Turkey Supply Across the U.S.: IRI’s research analysts and clients, which include some of the nation’s leading turkey suppliers and retailers, and partners such as the National Turkey Federation, indicate that there will be an ample supply of turkeys for U.S. consumers this holiday season.
  • Record-breaking Turkey Demand as Purchases Began Early in the Season: The week ending November 7, 2021, saw record-setting levels of whole-bird turkey demand. Including fresh, frozen, as well as new and by-the-pound items, IRI estimates about 50.5 million pounds of whole-bird turkey were sold — 114 percent more than the same week in 2020. Sales of whole-bird turkey have not been this high three weeks prior to the holiday in any other year. This is on top of unprecedented whole-bird turkey sales throughout October 2021, which saw 30.6 million pounds sold—over 200 percent more than October 2020 and higher than any October on record.
  • Turkey Pricing Holding Against Inflation: Despite higher prices in many other grocery items, data suggests that inflation has not impacted the whole-bird turkey sales market. According to IRI data, the average price per pound for whole-bird turkeys in October 2021, including fresh, frozen, and by-the-pound items, was down $0.07 compared to October 2020.
  • Higher November Turkey Pricing Driven by Lower Promotional Activity: For the week ending November 7, 2021, the average price per pound for whole-bird turkey was on average $0.06 higher than 2020, and $0.30 per pound higher than 2019 during that same week. However, this was due to the majority of sales occurring without price promotion, which typically happen closer to the Thanksgiving holiday. Data suggests that consumers’ earlier start to the holiday season was not aligned with retailers’ promotional pricing.

Related: Record Number of Americans to Host ThanksgivingStew Leonard's Address Shoppers' Supply Related Fears.