Home » IRI Data: Shoppers Gobbling Up Turkeys, But Supply Remains Strong

IRI Data: Shoppers Gobbling Up Turkeys, But Supply Remains Strong


Overall turkey supply is strong nationwide, with ample supply for U.S. consumers this holiday season. In addition, October turkey sales were up more than 200 percent compared to last year and sales remained strong for the first week of November, up more than 110 percent compared to last year.

These were among the key findings in new data released this week by IRI regarding the supply, sales and pricing for turkeys leading up to Thanksgiving.

IRI, a global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and media companies, also found that turkey prices per pound were below the historical average in October. Meanwhile, the first week of November pricing was up slightly as shoppers bought earlier, often before deep discount promotions began.

“Sales of whole-bird turkeys, including frozen, fresh and both by-the-pound and pre-weighted options, are strong. And our conversations with retailers and suppliers suggest that they expect to have ample turkey options in-stock in the week leading up to Thanksgiving,” said Krishnakumar “KK” S. Davey, IRI’s president of client engagement.

“Data continues to show that Thanksgiving turkey sales have been early and elevated nationwide, including record sales for whole-bird turkeys in October and through the first week of November.”

Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation, agreed.

“We are confident that there will be plenty of turkeys available this holiday season,” he said. “No matter how you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, there is a turkey option for your table.”

Other key insights from the data include:

  •  IRI’s research analysts and clients, which include some of the nation’s leading turkey suppliers and retailers, as well as partners such as the National Turkey Federation, indicate there will be an ample supply of turkeys for U.S. consumers this holiday season.
  • The week ending Nov. 7 saw record-setting levels of whole-bird turkey demand. Including fresh, frozen and new, and by-the-pound items, IRI estimates about 50.5 million pounds of whole-bird turkey were sold. That was 114 percent more than the same week in 2020.
  •  Sales of whole-bird turkey have not been this high three weeks prior to the holiday in any other year. This is on top of unprecedented whole-bird turkey sales throughout October, which saw 30.6 million pounds sold, which was 200 percent more than October 2020 and higher than any October on record.
  •  Despite higher prices in many other grocery items, data suggests that inflation has not impacted the whole-bird turkey sales market. According to IRI data, the average price per pound for whole-bird turkeys in October – including fresh, frozen and by-the-pound items – was down 7 cents compared to October 2020.
  •  For the week ending Nov. 7, the average price per pound for whole-bird turkey – including fresh, frozen and by-the-pound items – was on average 6 cents higher than 2020 and 30 cents per pound higher than 2019 during that same week. However, this was due to the majority of sales occurring without price promotion, which typically happen closer to Thanksgiving. Data suggests consumers’ earlier start to the holiday season was not aligned with retailers’ promotional pricing.

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Eric Pereira

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