Monday, October 26, 2009

Turkey Shortage?

I intimated in a post yesterday that my guess was that retailers will be looking to keep stock low this year, so as to avoid burning off too much excess festive stock in sales, and this morning I have seen an article that seems to back my point about retailers expecting a quieter Christmas.

It would appear that Supermarkets have ordered much fewer Turkeys during this summer in their preparedness for Christmas; in doing so 30% fewer premium Turkeys were hatched this summer in preparation for this Christmas.

The article states that there are now concerns that there may be a shortage, and that some people will need to switch to an alternate meat for their Christmas dinner.

It will not just have been Turkeys that the big retailers will have slashed orders for; it will be across the whole retail sector.  Turkeys are a good indicator because they are so synonymous with Christmas and because they need time to be hatched and grown, demonstrating retailer confidence for sales ahead of Christmas. And the absence of surplus stocks will mean a reduced need for Pre-Christmas sales, and the absence of sales is not good for the economic forecasting of Mr Brown.

For the record, the Christmas accord of 2005 still stands which guaranteed that my wife and I would alternate Christmases between each of our parents houses also meaning that we shall be at my parents this year, and thus meaning Capon is the bird that will have already been pre-ordered.


Rab C. Nesbitt said...

I've been in the food retail game for 23 years and turkey sales have always been on the slide, unless there is a turkey price war which there hasn't been for years.

There is always talk of a turkey shortage. It's just to make people buy early to free up space in frozen storerooms and warehouses. That's why you always see Christmas stuff out for sale in September, it's just to get stuff out of storage because there is no room.

INCOMING!!!!!!! said...

Rab couldn't resist it.

Sage words as always.

WV=blogin. WTF.

Daniel1979 said...


As you are the food man, I will defer to your judgement on the Turkeys, I guess I just never noticed the aricles consistently in previous years.

As you are in the food game, is it your experience that retaillers are being cautious this year? My prediction is that there will be fewer cut-price-sales (across the board, not just food)as there is no appetite for surplus stocks, and as such, there will be a big reduction in seasonal spending splurges which I think Brown was gambling on to see his "recovery by Christmas" pledge happen.

subrosa said...

Beef's the Christmas meal here because turkey doesn't appeal.

Rab's spot on as usual when it's anything to do with the food retail business.

banned said...

You may be right Rob but I read that there is a shortage but it's because the big retailers got taken in by the talk of recession and reduced their pre-orders from turkey-producers.
Now that customer orders are coming in at the usual rate this has indeed resulted in a shortage .
Not "because of the recession " but because of fear of a recession ( by the supermarkets ).