Socially distanced Thanksgiving weakens appetite for big turkeys

IN BARNS OR pens, or already in freezers, 40m American turkeys await their fate. More than half of the whole turkeys sold in America each year are eaten over Thanksgiving, which this year falls on November 26th. Most of the rest are polished off the following month, at Christmas. Social-distancing rules and travel restrictions mean that celebrations will look rather different in 2020—and so will the market for meat.

Some 30% of Americans say they will spend Thanksgiving with their immediate family only, up from 18% last year, according to Butterball, a North Carolina firm which rules the roost of turkey producers, supplying one in three Thanksgiving birds. Flight bookings for November are a third lower than last year, reports Skyscanner, a search platform, suggesting fewer people are going home for the holidays. In Britain, where 9m turkeys are usually eaten over Christmas, 61% of people say they are less likely than usual to have guests on Christmas Day, according to Kantar, a data firm.

Birds bred to feed large gatherings are therefore out of favour. Walmart and Kroger, large American food retailers, both plan to offer more small turkeys. However, “a lot of supply for the holidays is locked in well before the fall,” says Beth Breeding of America’s National Turkey Federation, an industry group. It is too late for...

via Business Feeds

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