Thanksgiving promises to be more bountiful this year than last as Butterball LLC turkeys stuff themselves with feed to fatten up, boosting supplies of the holiday staple.
Bill Klump, the chief marketing officer of Garner, N.C.-based Butterball, the largest U.S. turkey producer, said he anticipates “no problems” in supplies of large, fresh whole birds this year for the holiday season.
In 2013, the company reported “limited availability” of fresh birds two weeks before Thanksgiving on Nov. 28 as turkeys failed to pack on the pounds on some farms. Butterball had “ample” supplies of frozen whole turkeys and shipped 100 percent of customer orders.
“What we ended up with were the same number of head, but slightly lighter birds last year,” Klump said yesterday in a telephone interview. “This year, everything is absolutely perfect. Retailers are taking inventories as we speak and starting to put things into their distribution systems.”
Butterball is the largest U.S. turkey producer with annual output of about 1.3 billion pounds, according to WATT PoultryUSA rankings. This year, Thanksgiving is on Nov. 27.
The National Turkey Federation said about 85 percent of sales at Thanksgiving in 2013 were frozen