Why isn't more turkey eaten year-round? Informal survey.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by chickenannie, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    My friend and I were discussing this. Many people NEVER eat turkey except for Thanksgiving. Why is that?

    We came up with some theories, but I'd like to know what others think is the reason.

    Theory #1: Turkey is too big for a typical meal, and smaller turkeys aren't available. One turkey drumstick can weigh 4-5 lbs!

    Theory #2: Unfamiliarity. And not available at the store.

    Theory #3: Turkey is only "associated" with the holidays.

    Theory #4: Ground turkey is seen as "less yummy" than ground beef (partly due to it's pale color).

    Theory #5: The only familiar daily eating of turkey, is sliced turkey in sandwiches.

    Seems like the turkey industry could do a better job of promoting: ground turkey, turkey parts (drumsticks, wings, breasts, etc).

    Edited for grammar.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  2. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    Theory #6: People are crazy

    i totally agree - it should be better promoted to be associated with 'everyday food' and not just special holidays. we should get that BBQ University guy to have a whole section on how to BBQ turkey parts!

    great thread - thanks for starting....

  3. Karrie13

    Karrie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Theory 3.

    Plus... the time it takes to cook a turkey. Most people are to busy to do it anytime other than a holiday.
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Turkey is available all year round but I don't think people pay much attention to what is the meat cases at the grocery or they turn their nose up and keep walking.

    I see small turkeys all the time 8lbs or less. Remember most of the weight is bones. They take no more time to cook that a roast chicken. Ground turkey and turkey breast are also normally easy to find. I find that many people think cooking a turkey is 'going to a lot of trouble'.
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Theory #6: People are crazy


    (I bought 12 turkeys to put in my chest freezer since they were on sale the last month. That is one big turkey dinner a month for the next year plus a week of leftovers. That is a HUGE time saver for me!)​
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  6. longranger

    longranger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    laguna hills CA
    A complete answer to your questions would require intensive formal market analysis. I suspect you hit a majority of the main factors. The biggest two listed are the size of market turkeys and the perception that they are for special occasions. My suspicion is that large size is the primary factor for most families.

    Another factor is the variety of bird. IMHO the Butterball type bird although a miracle of feed conversion and rapid growth is flavor and texture wise inferior, particularly in comparison to essentially any of the heritage varieties. Give the market a large roaster chicken sized turkey with heritage flavor that can be produced at reasonable cost and available year round and it might eventually cut a little into chicken sales. It would take time and quite a bit of marketing. All other things considered many people will still prefer the taste of chicken when both birds can be used for the same application.
  7. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    Quote:Very insightful, Miss Prissy. I know when my friend's farm started selling pastured turkey parts after Thanksgiving, they disappeared immediately to customers. And when they ended up selling the rest as Ground Turkey, they couldn't believe that people were willing to pay $8 per pound for it!! They thought it would never sell and it went like hotcakes! They had to charge that much because it was so much work for them to take the carcass apart and have it ground and packaged (they did it themselves because to have a processor do it would have been even more expensive). I don't think you can buy "pastured, antibiotic-free ground turkey" anywhere though. Not at the store, for sure.

    I used the ground for anything I would've used ground beef for.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  8. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    we eat turkey a lot - if we cna find a nice smaller one, it'll do two or three meals - or a bigger one will do a week's worth of meals.

    same with big hams - I can make a ham on sunday and eat on that thing for a week. (potato soup, bean soup, ham sandwiches, fried ham with breakfast, etc...)

  9. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    We eat alot of turkey here. Last year we got turkeys at .19 a lb. We bought 12 of them. We gave 4 away to some families who didn't have anything for Thanksgiving, we had one and the rest went into our freezer. We had one every 6 weeks or so. We also eat alot of ground turkey for turkey, swiss, mushroom burgers. YUM! We cut ground beef with 1/2 ground turkey for meatloaf. We eat turkey mignons, turkey chops, turkey loin.

    Yum! Turkey!!

  10. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    Cost vs. perception is probably in there too.

    When I was at university, DH and I ate a lot of ground turkey because it was cheaper than red meat. After I got my first "real job," ground turkey was associated with starchy, cheap meals, so we rarely ate it, preferring spendy seafood to either less-expensive red meat or cheap ground turkey or cheapest cooked beans.

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