Retail sales of turkeys are up versus a year ago as Thanksgiving approaches, according to the BC Turkey Marketing Board.
Nationally, the industry has seen a 10% cut in production this year as the COVID-19 pandemic scaled back foodservice demand. More recently, government warnings regarding the importance of smaller gatherings at Thanksgiving to limit the resurgence of the disease have prompted reports of lower consumer demand.
But that’s not necessarily the case, says Michel Benoit, general manager of the BC Turkey Marketing Board. With more people eating at home, more people are choosing to “Think Turkey,” as a national marketing campaign for the industry puts it.
Retail sales have been trending higher this year than a year ago, Benoit says. Easter sales were strong, pointing to good demand as consumers prepare for Thanksgiving.
“We are optimistic,” he says.
However, actual sales won’t be known until late November. The data will give growers an indication of what to expect during the Christmas season, and help industry plan for future production cycles in 2021.