Sunday, December 10, 2023

Taking a look at Thanksgiving and turkey production for this year

By Elizabeth Bobenhausen Poultry Times staff

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GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and Butterball has shared its yearly 2023 “Thanksgiving Outlook” which notes its customer strategies and responses.

Butterball and the company Circana collaborated to establish an online survey for a national representative sample of 1,838 consumers. The survey lasted from July 3-July 14. Butterball said in a statement in regard to the study, “According to the findings, people are optimistic and planning to celebrate – with turkey as the centerpiece – again this year, but inflation is top of mind for many. Notably, 79 percent of consumers who plan to celebrate Thanksgiving expect inflation to impact their plans. However, holiday hosts remain committed to serving turkey, with 82 percent still planning to serve it.”

Important takeaways from the study include:

· Consumers are looking forward to celebrating together.

· 89 percent of consumers plan to host or attend a celebration of the same size or larger this year.

· The anticipated average size of celebrations is 9 people – back to pre-pandemic numbers.

· 83 percent of those planning to celebrate Thanksgiving associate the holiday with family; 74 percent associate it with togetherness.

· Consumers are dedicated to celebrating with turkey at the center of their tables.

· Turkey remains the most popular part of the meal, followed by stuffing, pie and potatoes.

· 79 percent of people serving turkey intend to purchase a whole turkey (fresh or frozen).

· 81 percent of hosts plan to buy the same size or larger turkey this year.

Consumers are also planning several ways to control the costs of their celebrations, including:

· 29 percent will ask guests to bring part of the meal.

· 16 percent will ask guests to share the expense of the meal.

· 14 percent will host less formal gatherings.

“While inflation remains top of mind, it’s encouraging to see consumers’ continued dedication to gathering with friends and family this holiday season, and to gathering around turkey specifically,” Chad McFadden, senior retail brand manager at Butterball, said. “We’re proud to play a part in helping to bring people together and pass love on this holiday season.”

Butterball Corp., headquartered in Garner, N.C., has been operating for 60 years, and provides sales and foodservice goods for consumers in more than 45 countries. Butterball says, it “is committed to being an industry leader in quality, food safety and animal care and well-being, and was the first major turkey company to voluntarily achieve certification through American Humane.” Butterball has approximately 6,500 employees within its production facilities, live operations, and offices. The employees are spread across Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and North Carolina.


Fun facts about ‘Turkey Day’

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays in the United States comprised of traditions like turkey, stuffing and football. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted for three days. According to the United States Census Bureau, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday on Oct. 3, 1863. He declared that the last Thursday in November to be designated for Thanksgiving. However, President Franklin Roosevelt stated that Thanksgiving ought to be commemorated on the fourth Thursday so people can start Christmas shopping early. There are towns and townships across the U.S. that have been named after the iconic dishes turkey and cranberry.

The Census Bureau states that these towns and townships are:

· Turkey Creek, Louisiana.

· Turkey, Texas.

· Turkey, North Carolina.

· Turkey Creek, Arizona.

· Cranberry township, Butler County, Pennsylvania.

· Cranberry township, Venango County, Pennsylvania.

The Census Bureau also notes the largest turkey producing states as:

· Minnesota (37.5 million)

· North Carolina (28 million)

· Arkansas (27 million)

· Indiana (20.5 million)

· Missouri (17.5 million)

· Virginia (14.6 million)

These six states comprise about 69 percent of turkeys produced in the U.S.

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