Turkey prices expected to be record high ahead of Thanksgiving

The inflation is due to a poultry influenza outbreak, killing 6 million turkeys so far

Turkeys are displayed for sale in a grocery store ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on November 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) (Mario Tama, 2021 Getty Images)

Thanksgiving dinner might cost a little more this year.

The price jump can be contributed to an avian-influenza outbreak, devastating flocks in the previous months, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The outbreak affected over 40 million birds, including about six million turkeys. The influenza made its recent introduction in the spring, and experts fear it’ll return in the coming months.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the outbreak is the second-deadliest on record.

Hormel Foods Corp. executives say that the outbreak has affected its supply chain, and that production volume is expected to remain low through the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2023.

Due to increased prices, Hormel’s quarterly profits increased by about $30 million from last year.

“Lower industrywide turkey supplies are expected to keep prices higher,” said Jacinth Smiley, Hormel’s chief financial officer.

Even with supply chain issues, enough turkeys are expected to be in the stores for the holiday season, according to The National Turkey Federation.

In 2015, the deadliest avian-influenza outbreak left about 50 million birds dead. Since then, the USDA has developed more accurate virus detection mechanisms.

Beth Breeding of the National Turkey Federation said that while there were some issues with turkey availability in 2015, they were settled by the holiday season.

About the Author:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.