Crying Wolf on Turkey Prices

Crying Wolf on Turkey Prices

On Thursday, November 26th, Americans will wolf down 49 million turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. Since nearly 8 million of the big birds were destroyed this summer over fears of Avian Flu, turkey forecasts predicted prices would be up 15 to 20 percent. Supply and demand, right?

Not so fast:

“Overall turkey production through the first nine months of the year dropped less than 2 percent, despite the avian flu outbreak. That’s because producers who weren’t affected were able to step up production, and much of this year’s Thanksgiving supply had already been harvested and flash-frozen before the outbreak.

The 7.5 million birds lost to the epidemic, while a large number in absolute terms, accounted for just 3 percent of the total annual United States production of 228 million birds, according to the American Turkey Federation.”

–“After Bird Flu Scare, Plenty of Turkeys for Thanksgiving,” James B. Stewart, New York Times

There are two take-aways here:

  1. Frozen whole hen turkeys are 90 cents a pound (1 cent less than last year), frozen whole toms 87 cents a pound (6 cents less than last year).
  2. The turkey you’ll thaw this week was frozen early last summer.


Short Link:

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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One Response to “Crying Wolf on Turkey Prices”

  1. Jude Cowell Says:

    Reblogged this on Jude's Threshold and commented:

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