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City Market: More people buying smaller turkeys this year

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 8:14 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Thanksgiving dinner will likely be smaller this year, but the staple foods can still be on the table.

Many have been avoiding flocking to the store out of an abundance of caution and instead have been preordering their turkeys this year.

“Most people are going toward the smaller side as of right now," said Jamey Magowan, the assistant meat and seafood manager for City Market’s South End location.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, families may need a little less space at the table this year. Magowan says though big birds are still on the market, the trend over the past few years has been shrinking.

“But obviously with the smaller gathering, yes, having a big turkey for a small gathering. There are only so many leftovers you can have," said Magowan.

City Market has already maxed out their ordering capacity with more than 1,200 turkeys. Over 90% of those are birds that weigh 20 lbs. or less.

The benefit of a preorder system is to stagger pickup times, keeping the store free of frantic holiday shopping. And while you are getting a juicy local turkey for you and your family, you’re also supporting local farms.

Managers at City Market say it may be a few extra dollars, but it is really about the support when you shop local.

“Remember the local farms. They have had a difficult time all summer because a lot of farmers markets have been restricted or not open. A lot of their regular markets that people might want and go to their farms are something they stayed away from because of the circumstances, so this is a way to be able to support local farms and support the local families," said Magowan.

Other local markets are seeing the same turkey trends.

“Pretty much on pace with how many turkeys we did last season,” said Scott Adams, the owner of Adams Apple Orchard and Farm Market in Williston.

Adams says more than half of the turkeys they have had to order are in the range of 12 to 16 lbs. With many requesting for the weight to fall on the lower side. That’s if they want the whole bird at all.

“As well as people asking if they can order just a turkey breast or parts of the turkey instead of the whole turkey," said Adams.

Adams says this year they didn’t even have to do their typical advertising, like calling previous customers. Social media got them the same exposure.

He says while working in a small market, you get to chat with customers coming in, and many say their orders are smaller because they plan to keep their feast close to home.

“They’ve been telling us that they themselves aren’t traveling this year so they just want something small for their household, or they are saying that their company is not coming because they aren’t able to get together," said Adams.

Adams says that although the season is a bit different, business has been looking good and they are optimistic about sales during the coming holidays.

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