Halloween falls on next Monday which means the “holidays” are only a few short weeks away. These two, major end-of-the-year holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, are completely “food-centric”. There are so many traditional delicacies associated with them both that it’s hard to find space on the dinner table sometimes.
The pandemic and its resultant supply chain issues have forced Americans to rethink their holiday planning to some extent. According to Consumer Reports. 70% of us will be more price-conscious this holiday season due to inflation. 50% of the buying public will be forced to choose their holiday items based more upon availability than flavor. Some 64% of us will begin planning up to a month in advance of the actual holiday in hopes of negating the effects of the less than favorable supply. Since 50% of consumers make the same dishes every year, we’ll be more likely to shop ahead since we already know what we want. And even though traditional dishes play a huge part on holiday tables, 90% of us anticipate purchasing pre-made options! Can you say cranberry-orange relish?
As early as August, I began hearing murmurs from customers about the availability of turkeys for Thanksgiving. It’s still too early to be conclusively sure of any negative impact to the poultry market but it goes without saying that the Avian Flu will definitely have some effect on availability and pricing. We’ll let you know as soon as we know!
When I was fresh out of college and began helping to write our meat ads for the holidays, it was a common practice to sell Thanksgiving turkeys well below what they cost us! The school of thought was that if you made the turkey price very attractive, customers would shop for their entire holiday order in your store. Those additional purchases would help offset the money we’d lost on “giving the turkey away” so to speak. Those days of loss leaders, at least for the foreseeable future, are sadly behind us.
With beef prices running anywhere from $3/lb and up, pork slightly less per lb. and chicken all over the board as far as price goes, turkey still remains one of the most economical, delicious and completely useful meats you can buy. After the actual dinner, there are turkey sandwiches, turkey hash, hot turkey and gravy over mashed potatoes and — you can still boil the carcass to make the best tasting turkey soup imaginable. You really can use the entire bird!