Local meat markets experience turkey shortage and high prices

Posted at 6:43 AM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-14 07:43:06-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show turkey costs almost 17% more than a year ago. 

Shoppers at Staples Meat Market tell KRIS 6 News they expected to pay more for a turkey this year.

“You can tell when you go get eggs and milk. There’s an increase but I think that’s everywhere throughout the county,” said Calallen resident, Christy Mata. 

This year, Mata planned for Thanksgiving Day. Buying not just one turkey but two. 

“We planned ahead of time, so we don’t really have trouble finding turkey or anything like that,” Mata said. 

Texas A&M University Kingsville professor of meat science Jason Apple said shoppers are now experiencing the problems turkey producers have been facing. 

“Rising costs, the cost of the supply chain to get it from Point A to Point B,” he said. 

That’s in addition to an avian flu outbreak that killed millions of turkeys nationwide, leading to lower supplies.

Prescott Meat Market manager Cliff Herold said small local businesses have suffered because of it. 

“Poultry farms are not going to take orders for 15 to 20 cases when larger grocery stores that are buying 8,000 to 12,000 cases at a time,” Herold said. 

The turkeys at Prescott Meat Market will cost shoppers over $2 a pound. 

Herold knows that’s a bit more than what most people want to pay. 

“I have to be very smart about how much I bring in to where I’m not going to have a bunch of them left over,” he said. 

CBS News Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger said the cost of food is projected to stay high for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah seasons.

The best advice from our local consumers is to plan ahead and come up with ways to avoid wasting food.