With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, many Americans are already beginning to flood grocery stores in search of holiday meal ingredients.
Everything from cranberry sauce and gravy to potatoes and stuffing will soon be flying off the shelves– forcing grocers across the country to try and keep up with demand.
But, one of the most sought-after Thanksgiving staples– turkey– will be few and far between. It might feel like every year, locating a fresh and affordable bird is already a challenge around the holidays.
Still, 2022 has presented our turkey count with some unique challenges that will make supply scarce and prices high.
First of all, turkey supplies have already been low in recent years. In 2019, turkey prices plummeted– which prompted producers to raise lower numbers of the birds.
Then, once the COVID-19 pandemic ran rampant, turkey production was even further damaged.
United States inflation, which has been an average of 7.7% over the last twelve months, is also a contributing factor.
Now that farmers and processors have been forced to dole out more cash upfront for feed, labor, and fuel, consumers can expect to see these price gouges reflected on their supermarket receipts.
In fact, some experts in the poultry industry– such as Dr. Thomas Elam, president of FarmEcon LLC– predict that families could be paying over two times as much for a turkey this year than they did in 2021.
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