Industry Trends

"The Turkey"

  • According to the National Turkey Federation, 88% of Americans say they will be eating Thanksgiving turkey
  • This year, our estimates show Americans are expected to spend $1.095 billion, $55.9 million more than last year
  • This increase is driven by an increase in the price per pound of turkey year-over-year
  • We project 16 lb. turkeys will cost $23.81 this Thanksgiving, based on monthly retail price data from the Economic Research Service at the US Department of Agriculture (ERS USDA)

Four states comprise half of the 222.0 million turkeys being raised this year

Turkey Production
  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture, turkey production in August of 2020 was down 5.3% YoY totaling $473.3 million pounds
  • Turkey production in the United States has increased nearly 110% since 1970
  • The turkey-production industry employs over 25,000 workers year-round in the United States.
  • The weight of the average turkey has increased 125% since 1929. This allows for commercial turkey producers to “put an awful lot of emphasis on a smaller amount of birds” according to Michael Lilburn, a poultry expert at Ohio State University
  • 2020 turkey production forecasts are expecting turkey production to reach 5.738 billion pounds, a one percent decrease from the previous year
  • 2021 forecasts are expecting production to reach 5.77 billion pounds, a one percent increase from this year
  • North Carolina and Minnesota are the leading producers of turkey products with producing $769,000 and $749,000 worth of turkey products, respectively

  • According to the National Fire Protection Association, deep fryer fires cause an average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries, and more than $15 million in property damage each year
  • A deep-fried turkey may seem uncommon outside the South, but it may be the way to go if you’re in a pinch. A deep-fried turkey needs no more than 45 minutes to cook, compared to the hours-long method of roasting
  • Depending on size, a turkey can finish in as little as 30 minutes. While you can pick any kind of oil, deep-fried turkey traditionally uses peanut oil
  • Depending on weight, it can take hours to thoroughly roast a turkey. A 6 lbs turkey needs around 3 hours to roast, while an 24 lbs turkey needs around 7 hours to roast
  • A stuffed turkey typically takes an additional 30 minutes or more to cook than an unstuffed turkey

State By State Side Dishes
State by state side dish popularity based on Google search interest this year

Turkey: The American Protein?
Where do the turkeys go when not consumed on Thanksgiving?


  • In 2020, wholesale frozen turkey prices have increased 25%, continuing to rise towards its expected peak right before Thanksgiving according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Q3 2020 poultry statistics
  • Corn and soymeal products are primary inputs into turkey production. Corn accounts for 91% of grains used for feed while soymeal products are the primary oilseed product used as feed
  • In 2008, corn and soymeal prices increased on average by 42% and 46% respectively (turkey prices increased 32%)


High School

While the most attention towards football on Thanksgiving day go towards the NFL, there are high school football rivalries that date back over 100 years. Here is a list of the top four high school football rivalries that take place on Thanksgiving day:

  1. Norwich Free Academy (CT) vs. New London (CT): “Ye Olde Ball Game” 158 Games Played
  2. Wellesley (MA) vs. Needham (MA) 132 Games Played
  3. Easton (PA) vs. Phillipsburg (NJ): “The State Line Game” 103 Games Played
  4. Loyola Blakefield (MD) vs. Calvert Hall College (MD): The “Turkey Bowl“ 100 Games Played


During a typical college football season, Thanksgiving weekend represents the opportunity for huge state rivalry games and other marquee matchups. These games typically close out the season prior to conference championship games. Due to COVID-19 and the accelerated schedules in play during the 2020 season, Thanksgiving weekend appears to be more of a standard weekend of play. There are no college football games being played on Thanksgiving Day in 2020

National Football League

Detroit Lions
While the NFL began playing on Thanksgiving day in 1920, the Detroit Lions began their tradition of playing on the American holiday as owner, GA Richards wanted to get more fans in the stands. They have played almost every Thanksgiving day since and will be playing the Houston Texans in this year’s matchup at 12:30 PM

Dallas Cowboys
In 1966, the Dallas Cowboys joined the Detroit Lions in playing on Thanksgiving day as Clint Murchison Jr. wanted to enhance the brand of the franchise. The Dallas Cowboys will be playing the Washington Football Team this year at 4:30 PM

<span style="color:rgba(134, 76, 2, 1)">Industry Overview</span>
Industry Overview


Thanksgiving Oven Roasted Turkey
Industry Trends


<span style="color:rgba(134, 76, 2, 1)">Survey Findings</span>
Survey Findings


Properly preparing fresh, uncooked produce is a must, and with this in mind, the elderly woman pictured here was teaching her grandson how to do just that, while peeling a number of potatoes.
She was imparting her knowledge of how to safely use a knife to accomplish the peeling. During such activities, when using sharp instruments, injury prevention need be foremost in one’s mind.


<span style="color:rgba(134, 76, 2, 1)">TAKEAWAYS</span>