Girl, the turkey prices this year are down! You may have been pheasantly surprised when you went to pick up your bird.
Whether it is for Thanksgiving dinner or just a hearty meal, buying your turkey this year will be a lot less expensive.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), turkey prices dropped 22% from August 2022.
In August 2023, the average price of an 8-16 pound turkey was $1.27 per pound.
So what’s the deal?
There’s an oversupply of turkeys in 2023, which has led to a significant decline in turkey prices. According to the National Turkey Federation (yes, that’s a real thing), turkey production this year has exceeded the demand.
Interestingly, the oversupply of turkeys in 2023 isn’t coincidental. Many farmers ramped up their turkey production following projections that consumer demand would rise.
Factors such as the easing of pandemic restrictions and the return of large family gatherings contributed to these projections. However, as it turned out, demand did not increase as much as anticipated, resulting in a surplus of turkeys in the market.
The increased production combined with lower-than-expected demand has led to a significant fall in turkey prices, thereby benefitting consumers.
That means we are lucky since we can now get rock bottom prices on our turkey feast.
#2: Lower Feed Prices
One of the most significant expenses when it comes to raising healthy turkeys is feed costs.
The good news is that turkey food prices have gone down in the past year. This leads to a lot of savings, which inevitably result in cheaper prices for consumers like you and me.
And let’s be real, what better news could we have received that turkey dinner can now be added to our weekly dinner menu?
#3: The Rise of Chicken
Believe it or not, the rising demand for chickens has had an impact on turkey prices. Leaner and milder tasting chicken meat has become an everyday staple meal for Americans.
The growing popularity of chicken can be attributed to several factors. To begin with, chicken is often seen as a healthier option with lower fat content compared to other meats.
Chickens have a shorter breeding cycle compared to turkeys, making them a more sustainable and cost-effective option for farmers, which translates into lower prices for consumers.
This combination of health benefits, culinary versatility, and cost-effectiveness has established chicken as a popular choice, thereby indirectly influencing the pricing of turkey.
As a result, many turkey farmers had to reduce their prices to compete fairly with the chicken industry, whose profits are flying high.
#4: Technological Advancements in Farming
It’s also critical to recognize the role of modern farming techniques and technology in lowering turkey prices. Innovations in automation and efficient feeding practices have significantly reduced the cost of raising turkeys on a large scale.
Drones and robotic systems help farmers monitor their flock’s health and growth more effectively, leading to healthier turkeys and lower mortality rates.
Meanwhile, precision feeding techniques ensure that each turkey receives the optimum amount of nutrition, minimizing waste and maximizing growth.
These advancements have streamlined the turkey farming process, reducing the overall cost and making turkeys more affordable for the average consumer.
#5: Increased International Trade
Increased international trade also plays a significant role in the reduction of turkey prices. As the global market has expanded, turkey farmers have gained access to new markets and consumers worldwide.
Increased demand from overseas markets has allowed for enhanced production efficiencies, leading to economies of scale.
The expansion of export markets has also cushioned local market fluctuations, providing stability in pricing. As a result, consumers are benefiting from lower turkey prices.
#6 Avian Flu
In 2022, an outbreak of the Avian flu significantly cut the supply of turkeys, leading to a temporary increase in turkey prices.
The highly pathogenic avian influenza, also known as bird flu, is a type of influenza virus that primarily affects birds but can occasionally infect humans and other animals. It’s a highly contagious disease that spreads rapidly, often leading to severe illness and high mortality rates among bird populations.
While bird flu poses a considerable risk to turkey operations, it’s important to note that stringent biosecurity measures can significantly reduce the risk of infection in poultry farms. These measures typically include limiting the movement of people and equipment into and out of farms, separating domesticated birds from wild birds, and regular health checks and vaccination of the poultry.
What do these lower turkey prices mean for us in the long term? Will this trend continue?
Well, it’s hard to say for sure. But what we do know is that these lower prices are definitely a welcome change for our wallets and bank accounts this year.
When cooking Thanksgiving for your family, you may feel more at ease knowing that this year’s bird is more affordable.
It also allows us to be more creative with our meals – perhaps trying out new recipes or incorporating turkey at other times besides Thanksgiving.
Ladies, there you have it, turkey prices in 2023 are a real joke! From oversupply to chicken competition, lowered feed prices to the pandemic.
These factors and more have helped reduce turkey prices, and we are eternally grateful! So, gather your loved ones, cook that turkey dinner you’ve been dreaming of, and savor every bite.