IRI Provides New Data on Thanksgiving Turkey Supply, Sales and Pricing

CHICAGO– IRI®, a global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and media companies, today announced new data regarding the supply, sales and pricing for turkeys leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Sales of whole-bird turkeys, including frozen, fresh and both by-the-pound and pre-weighted options, are strong, and our conversations with retailers and suppliers suggest that they expect to have ample turkey options in-stock in the week leading up to Thanksgiving,” said Dr. Krishnakumar (“KK”) S. Davey, president of client engagement for IRI. “IRI data continues to show that Thanksgiving turkey sales have been early and elevated nationwide, including record sales for whole-bird turkeys in October and through the first week of November.”

Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation, added, “Turkey is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal, and we are confident that there will be plenty of turkeys available this holiday season. No matter how you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, there is a turkey option for your table.”

Key Insights from IRI and Its Partners Through the Week of Nov. 7, 2021:

  • Ample Turkey Supply Across the U.S.: IRI’s research analysts and clients, which include some of the nation’s leading turkey suppliers and retailers, and partners such as the National Turkey Federation, indicate that there will be an ample supply of turkeys for U.S. consumers this holiday season.
  • Record-breaking Turkey Demand as Purchases Began Early in the Season: The week ending Nov. 7, 2021, saw record-setting levels of whole-bird turkey demand. Including fresh, frozen, as well as new and by-the-pound items, IRI estimates about 50.5 million pounds of whole-bird turkey were sold — 114% more than the same week in 2020. Sales of whole-bird turkey have not been this high three weeks prior to the holiday in any other year. This is on top of unprecedented whole-bird turkey sales throughout October 2021, which saw 30.6 million pounds sold — over 200% more than October 2020 and higher than any October on record.1
  • Turkey Pricing Holding Against Inflation: Despite higher prices in many other grocery items, data suggests that inflation has not impacted the whole-bird turkey sales market. According to IRI data, the average price per pound for whole-bird turkeys in October 2021, including fresh, frozen and by-the-pound items, was down $0.07 compared to October 2020.
  • Higher November Turkey Pricing Driven by Lower Promotional Activity: For the week ending Nov. 7, 2021, the average price per pound for whole-bird turkey — including fresh, frozen and by-the-pound items — was on average $0.06 higher than 2020 and $0.30 per pound higher than 2019 during that same week. However, this was due to the majority of sales occurring without price promotion, which typically happen closer to the Thanksgiving holiday. Data suggests that consumers’ earlier start to the holiday season was not aligned with retailers’ promotional pricing.

About IRI

IRI is a fast-growing, leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC health care organizations, retailers, and financial services and media companies grow their businesses. With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated into an on-demand, cloud-based technology platform, IRI is empowering the personalization revolution, helping to guide its more than 5,000 clients around the world in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers, collaborate with key constituents and deliver market-leading growth. For more information, visit

1 Source: IRI Integrated Fresh, includes both random/by-the-pound and fixed weight, both refrigerated and frozen whole-bird turkey sales.