Poultry firms prepare to sell smaller birds for Thanksgiving

By The Associated Press

Turkey growers and sellers are taking into account that many Thanksgiving gatherings will likely be smaller this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland, reported Tuesday that some in the poultry business expect smaller turkeys to sell more than usual.

“Nothing about it is fortunate, but we kind of knew ahead of time this was going to be the trend,” Elizabeth Carter, owner of T.A. Farms in Kent County, Delaware, told the newspaper.

Carter said the company is not intending to stop selling its largest turkeys. But it will put greater emphasis on the smaller ones as well as packages of just turkey legs, bone-in breast, wings or thighs.

Americans are expected to limit their gatherings to sizes recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Grocery chain Kroger said its research shows that 43% of shoppers plan to celebrate Thanksgiving only with those in their immediate household.

But not every turkey seller expects an increase in demand for smaller birds. Butterball’s research indicates that most customers plan to serve the same size turkey as they did last year, or even a larger one.