By Michael Austin  November 17, 2021 at 12:02pm

Be sure to snatch up your Thanksgiving turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce as quickly as possible ahead of the holiday, because many stores are beginning to run out of stock.

Market research firm IRI is reporting that various popular Thanksgiving essentials are running low this year.

According to CNN Business, retailer supplies of frozen turkeys, packaged pies, liquid gravy and cranberry sauce are all lower than they were in 2020.

Typically, retailers typically want to have an in-stock rate of 95 percent, according to Krishnakumar Davey, the president of IRI’s strategic analytics practices.

Last year, retailers selling Thanksgiving essentials fell short of that goal, and this year, it looks like supply will be much worse.

During the first week of November in 2020, the national in-stock rate of whole bird frozen, fixed-weight turkeys was 86 percent. This year, that rate has fallen to 64 percent.

Other items have seen similar drops in supply.

The supply of packaged pie dropped from 78 percent to 68 percent, the availability of liquid gravy dropped from 85 percent to 73 percent and the in-stock rate of cranberry sauce sits at 79 percent this year, 10 points down from last year’s rate of 89 percent.

CNN Business attributed the dropping numbers to “supply chain ruptures and an unexpected spike in demand.”

Will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year?

While most consumers will likely be able to buy most of their Thanksgiving essentials, many may be forced to spend more and substitute certain items for others.

Cranberry sauce may be one of the items consumers need to replace for Thanksgiving this year.

One of the largest producers of cranberry products, Ocean Spray, said “consumers may experience some availability issues at times on a variety of cranberry products” but doesn’t expect “significant impacts,” according to CNN Business.

Tony Sarsam, the CEO of food distributor SpartanNash, warned that roughly “a half a dozen classic holiday items” may be harder to find on grocery store shelves this year.

Those items include turkey, pie, frozen pie shells, liquid gravy and cranberry sauce.

Sarsam also warned that other items popular in holiday baking — including cream cheese, whipped cream and butterscotch chips — may be in short supply as well.

There is some good news for shoppers hoping to prepare for the holiday, however.

Many major turkey processors are claiming that, despite early out-of-stocks, they will be able to fill shelves in time for Thanksgiving.

“We can affirm that there will be Butterball turkeys available in stores this season,” Butterball spokesperson Christa Leupen said, according to CNN Business.

Daniel Sullivan, a spokesperson for the major turkey producer and processor Cargill, is also “confident there will be an ample supply of turkeys for Thanksgiving this year throughout the US.”

Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including numerous original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet’s video podcast, “WJ Live.”


Ames, Iowa




Iowa State University

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