Walmart shares Thanksgiving turkey shopping and planning predictions

The CW39 Houston

FILE – This Nov. 2, 2009, file photo shows a Thanksgiving turkey in Concord, N.H. Food safety experts say raw turkeys shouldn’t be rinsed, since that can spread harmful bacteria. Cooking should kill any germs. But bacteria can still spread in other ways, so washing and sanitizing hands and surfaces is still important. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe, File)

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HOUSTON (CW39) When it comes to holiday preparation, the weekend before Thanksgiving is typically a busy one as shoppers across the country. That’s when folks begin to shop and prepare the holiday meal. This year, the pandemic has brought extensive change in every area our daily lives, and Thanksgiving celebrations will be no exception. The sprint to Thanksgiving is likely going to be spread over a greater number of days, and the largest turkey in the freezer is less likely to be the star.

In fact, demand for turkey will undoubtedly look different this year. Here’s how America’s largest retailer is preparing for ‘center of plate’ this Thanksgiving:

  • According to Butterball, the number of consumers who plan to host extended family and friends for Thanksgiving has dropped from 30% during a typical year to 26% this year while those who plan to celebrate only with immediate family has risen from 21% in a typical year, to 31%.
  • With more customers planning for smaller groups, the retailer anticipates a higher preference for smaller turkeys.
  • Walmart also claims to have learned a lot from customers this past Easter. “To avoid crowds, shoppers stocked up earlier than ever. That’s going to continue this holiday season. It’s no longer about catering to a single peak the weekend before Thanksgiving. “
  • Following Easter, ham sales continued to peak even into summer as people were inspired to cook differently at home. They expect that trend to continue right into Thanksgiving dinner. With Walmart customers planning smaller gatherings and prioritizing convenience, ham will be in the spotlight so they’ve increased inventory.

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