A View From Our Side: So, What’s The Scoop on Turkey?

Written by: Rod Wilson

Well friends, here we are just a few weeks away from Thanksgiving, and everywhere we are hearing about the high cost of turkey. One news report was even so bold as to suggest that consumers may have to switch their choice of meat because turkey prices were expected to be at record highs. So, what is the reason for this turkey-flation? Well, most experts point to the loss of millions of turkeys, chickens, and other birds due to Avian flu. Over 44.6 million birds, and more specifically, six million turkeys have died from the virus. And of course, at Thanksgiving consumer demand for turkey already puts a strain on supply.

But let’s be realistic here folks, even if turkey stays at the predicted price of around $2.00 per pound, and you purchase a 15 pound turkey, it’s $30.00. Last year the average price for that same turkey was around $1.15 per pound, well even less in some stores, so we are talking about $12.75 more this year than last. And even though, as CNN points out, that’s a 73 per cent increase over 2021, compare the price of gas to last year and your Thanksgiving turkey will seem like a bargain.

What causes all of this turkey tension in 2022? It’s pretty simple. Turkey has always been used by grocers as their loss leader at Thanksgiving. Purchase your Thanksgiving turkey at a store, and more than likely you will fill your shopping cart with all of the other staples of a Thanksgiving dinner.

I was in the advertising business for more than 30 years, and I know that grocery store managers lost sleep over the price of turkeys every year. I was even called at 3 AM one morning to quickly head to the TV station where I worked to lower the price of the turkeys on a TV ad by three cents “because we can’t afford to lose the war on turkeys, son”. I clearly remember lowering the price from .32 cents per pound, to .29 cents per pound. I finished re-doing the ad just as the station was signing on the air, and the first ad ran just minutes later, right after the National Anthem. Turkey crisis averted.

And then of course we have to remember that after Thanksgiving, our turkey purchase lives on for days in the form of turkey sandwiches, turkey & tater tot hot dish and finally a week later, turkey noodle soup. Face it folks. Pound for pound, turkey, even at $2.00 per pound, is a real bargain.

In my humble opinion, people will grudgingly step up to the supermarket check-out line and pay what it takes to put a turkey on the table for Thanksgiving. So please, no more lost sleep over the price of turkeys.

THIS WEEK’S BEST KEPT SECRET

Downtown Minot has embarked on what will be a multi-year endeavor to restore the historic facades that once adorned our Main Street. The first of these projects got a huge boost this past week when the colorful awning was installed on Margie’s Art Glass Studio, also home to the Black Iguana Coffee shop. Take a minute to drive by 109 South Main. It really does look marvelous. Sure, there is more work to be done. But one can only imagine what it will look like when other merchants re-do their store fronts and return to the look of historic Downtown Minot from years past.

TODAY’S CHUCKLE

“What did the mother turkey say to her disobedient children?” “If your father could see you now, he’d turn over in his gravy!”

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