Why Thanksgiving Turkeys Will Be Smaller This Year

You’re not the only one rethinking your Thanksgiving this year.

Fewer people at Thanksgiving tables is going to mean many households are looking to buy smaller turkeys. And because no one can just press a button and make smaller turkeys, grocery stores, distributors and farmers are rethinking their own longstanding Thanksgiving traditions.
Chains like Giant Eagle and Stew Leonard’s are buying smaller birds, and Walmart, the largest grocer in the United States, is increasing its availability of boneless and bone-in turkey breasts, which amount to less meat than a full bird. Meanwhile, farmers are making adjustments such as slaughtering birds earlier.
“Our research does suggest that smaller birds will be in higher demand,” said Tom Windish, Managing Director of Retail for Cargill, a major meat producer that sells turkey under the Honeysuckle White, Shady Brook Farms and Honest Turkey brands.