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Shoppers Might be Clucking About Turkey Prices | Inside INdiana Business

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Thanksgiving holiday food shoppers will find adequate supplies of turkeys but at higher prices, depending on the type and whether grocers pass the increases on to customers or eat the loss themselves, a Purdue University agricultural economist says.

Wholesale prices of turkeys are expected to be 8-10 percent higher than last year, said Corrinne Alexander, who tracks trends in food prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts wholesale prices for Eastern market whole turkey will be between $1.12 and $1.16 per pound in the fourth quarter of this year, compared with $1.05 per pound this time last year.

The higher prices for turkeys primarily are being driven by higher feed costs following the drought of 2012, Alexander said.

She said how the higher wholesale prices translate into retail prices depends on individual retailers’ pricing decisions.

“The actual price you pay will vary depending on whether you purchase whole or turkey parts; frozen or fresh birds; fresh, precooked or complete turkey meals; brand names; and the value of store coupons and price specials,” she said.

More stores are offering free-range and organic turkeys at premium prices, she said. Also, fresh birds will be priced higher than frozen, with the price of fresh turkeys more sensitive to increases in wholesale prices.
Many stores, Alexander said, will feature turkeys at below cost or offer special prices for frequent shoppers or large birds. “Turkey is often priced as a loss leader.”

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Shoppers Might be Clucking About Turkey Prices.