There will be an abundance of turkey and turkey products available this holiday season, according to local turkey marketing experts, but prices may be a bit higher than last year.
On the average, the wholesale price of turkey is up from a year ago, but whether stores will raise their average prices from a year ago is yet to be seen. Most Utah supermarkets put special low prices on turkeys at strategic times during the holiday season to draw customers to their stores.Turkey marketers in Salt Lake City said Tuesday they won't know how low supermarkets will mark their turkeys until grocery ads come out, probably Sunday and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
"Generally, when a grocery store sells turkeys for 59 cents a pound, they lose money," one marketer said. "But they hope the special sales price will bring in a lot of customers who will shop for other things," he added.
Turkey consumption nationally has skyrocketed in the past few years, rising an average of 9.9 percent a year since 1985. Government analysts credit the increase to attractive prices, the hunt for lower-fat foods and an array of products that allow shoppers to buy a convenient amount of meat.
"Today, consumers do not have to buy a 13 (pound)-25 pound turkey," the Agriculture Department said in an analysis.
"Rather they can buy a package of turkey breast or thigh that is about the same size as most beef or pork roasts. Also, tenderloin cuts and ground turkey allow turkey to compete directly with other fresh meats."