Nov 3, 2021 - Food and Drink

How ensure you get a Thanksgiving turkey

Inside A Wal-Mart Super Store Ahead Of Black Friday

Butterball frozen turkeys on display. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Industry experts tell me there will be enough turkeys for everyone this Thanksgiving.

But if you’re feeling extra cautious, or you have a specific turkey in mind, it’s “not too soon to start looking,” the Beth Breeding of the National Turkey Federation says.

Why it matters: Supply chain blockades are affecting every aspect of our lives: school meals, holiday gifts and even the Yafo laffah bread fell victim to consequences brought on by supply chain issues.

  • But grocers and producers are confident that Thanksgiving’s centerpiece bird will be available, maybe with a few hiccups.
  • “Shortages on product and packaging may vary week to week, Publix’s Media Relations Manager Jared Glover says.

Zoom out: Restaurants around the country have been worried about the possible shortage for months, and some have found that smaller birds are easier to find than larger ones, as Food & Wine reported.

  • But larger grocery stores started stocking up on holiday meal supplies as early as two months ago in order to avoid a shortage.
  • “Our turkeys are in stock already and we do not anticipate any issues,” Glover, the Publix rep, tells Laura.

Fun fact: North Carolina is the second-leading producer of turkeys in the country.

My thought bubble: I went to Publix on South Blvd. on Monday night and they didn’t have any frozen turkeys out yet. The employee I spoke to told me they were getting ready to put those out this week, but I would have to wait at least two weeks before the fresh turkeys were available.

Trader Joe's turkey sign
Trader Joe’s in Midtown turkeys will be available November 12. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/ Axios

What’s next: I asked Breeding what common mistakes people make when shopping for their Thanksgiving meal and she said that most people wait until the last minute.

  • For every four pounds, you need about 24 hours to thaw in the fridge, according to Breeding.
  • A 15-pound turkey would need about 4 days to thaw.

The bottom line: If you have a specific bird in mind, or are expecting a large family gathering this year, plan ahead.


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