Why Experts Say You Should Plan Your Menu In Advance For Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving may seem like a long time ago, but with food and commodity shortages, higher prices, and shipping issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, now is the time to start planning for Turkey Day.

“It might not be until September, but for many, the holidays are already here,” NBC senior correspondent Stephanie Ruhle said. “Experts urge Americans to plan ahead.”

The first thing Ruhle wants you to put on your to-do list? Obtain food for your Thanksgiving feast.

“Shopping for holiday food this year will be harder than ever,” Phil Lempert, food trends analyst and editor of SupermarketGuru.com TODAY Food said in an email. “The perfect storm of climate change, especially the wildfires in the West, destroyed some crops, pushing up the cost of soybean and corn feeds for animals, resulting in by an increase in costs for the farmer and therefore the buyer. “

Lempert said he is looking for the biggest increases in animal products: milk, eggs, beef, pork, chicken and, yes, even turkey. “Transportation costs have increased dramatically. According to Tyson, refrigerated transportation is up more than 10% and there is a shortage of truck drivers, so it is difficult to get food to market,” a- he declared.

Due to the pandemic, many food processing facilities are operating well below capacity. Add to that the fact that many supermarkets report that their suppliers can only fulfill 50-70% of their orders and you have a recipe for a holiday disaster.

“What all of this means is that prices will continue to rise over the next 16 to 18 months and we will see shortages on the supermarket shelves,” Lempert said. “When it comes to our favorite Thanksgiving food, fresh and frozen little turkeys (those 16 lbs and under) will be in short supply, so clean your freezer now and shop for holiday food early, in-store and online. . He said, reminding buyers that even Amazon sells whole turkeys.

Ruhle said if you get your hands on a bird, expect to pay more for it. “Groceries are up 3% from a year ago and turkeys, more than 6%.”

Ruhle said it wasn’t too early to start ordering your turkey and cranberries now – and Jake Tavello, vice president of stores at Stew Leonard’s, a Northeastern supermarket chain, echoed this. feeling, advising customers to order in advance.

“Stew Leonard’s has ordered enough turkeys of all sizes to feed our customers on Thanksgiving,” Tavello said TODAY in an email, saying his stores sell over a million pounds of turkey for. vacations. Her main advice to customers is, you guessed it, to shop early.

“You can buy your Thanksgiving turkey up to 10 days in advance,” he said. “We also suggest that you stock up on basic items in your pantry in the weeks leading up to the holidays, and then head to the store just before the holidays for your fresh bread, produce and pies.”

If you’re worried about having to serve pizza for Thanksgiving dinner, the National Turkey Federation reassures patrons that there will be enough birds for everyone. The key to getting what you want, as Ruhle said, is to plan ahead.

“The turkey is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal, and Americans can rest assured that there will be enough turkeys available this holiday season,” said Beth Breeding, National Federation vice president of communications and marketing. turkeys, in an email.

“If families have a preference for a fresh turkey, a specific size turkey, or a particular cut of turkey like a bone-in breast, we recommend that you plan ahead with your local retailer to ensure you get exactly the right amount of turkey. holiday turkey you want. Shopping early is always a good plan! Ultimately, no matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, there is a turkey option for your table. “


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