Butterball weathers inflation, avian flu for Thanksgiving

With global issues like inflation and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) disrupting the supply of poultry, concerns rise over whether everyone will be able to have a turkey at their holiday table, but Butterball assures there will be enough of their turkeys to go around.

(Courtesy of Butterball)
(Courtesy of Butterball)

With global issues like inflation and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) disrupting the supply of poultry, concerns rise over whether everyone will be able to have a turkey at their holiday table, but Butterball assures there will be enough of their turkeys to go around.

Butterball’s biosecurity against avian flu

Only 1% of Butterball’s product has been impacted by HPAI, so the company does not expect a shortage of turkeys for Thanksgiving. And Butterball’s biosecurity measures are to thank. 

After the 2014-2015 HPAI outbreak, Butterball came prepared this year with measures like washdown procedures before entering a farm and enhanced personal protection equipment for staff. The measures have even been able to withstand this year’s new strain of HPAI which stretched into late summer and fall rather than staying solely in the spring. 

Consumer trends, inflation and COVID-19

Inflation has impacted every sector of every industry, and producers like Butterball are feeling the effects in every step of the process from feed costs to packaging. However, customers will still be able to get a great value product, said Al Jansen, EVP sales and marketing for Butterball, and there will be enough for every customer this Thanksgiving. 

Butterball is also seeing consumer trends return to pre-COVID-19 numbers with customers taking their time to buy their turkeys this year. For comparison, 2020 and 2021 saw consumers buy turkeys much earlier in preparation for a potential shortage, which were all too common during quarantine. 

What matters to customers this year, said Jansen, is to have a Thanksgiving dinner table with “a beautiful turkey in the middle of it.”

How the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line experts can help

Thanksgiving preparations can be stressful for even the most confident cook, which is why Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line experts are available for support from November 1 to December 24. 

What are the Turkey Talk-Line experts?

Well, according to Jansen, “what they are is awesome.” 

The team consists of culinary-trained experts, food economists and food scientists who are ready to assist with concerns like deciding which turkey to buy or how to know when a turkey is done. Implemented 41 years ago, Butterball’s experts help approximately 100,000 people every year.

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