There are two easy ways to prove Iowa doesn’t have turkey shortage, grocery chain CEO says


DES MOINES, Iowa — Here’s the message from Fareway Meat & Grocery CEO Reynolds Cramer if you are worried about finding a Thanksgiving turkey: “We’re not running out. There’s no shortage. It happens to be an easy bird to find right now.”

Cramer knows that Iowa families have heard or read national reports about a turkey shortage that could impact the holiday this year. But that hasn’t impacted this area of the country for most retailers, he said. “Overall, the whole country, there are shortages for sure. When it comes to turkeys at Thanksgiving time, you’ve got to have a little bit of planning. And we’ve been planning for well over a year. We do every year. Plan for how many birds you need. And what you think the customers are going to want,” Cramer said.

A spokeswoman for Hy-Vee echoed Cramer’s comments that turkey supply remains sufficient. “Our turkey supply is in good shape. We’ve been heavily planning for this holiday season for the past year,” Christina Gayman wrote in an email to WHO 13 News.

Cramer said that not only a visit to a store demonstrates the supply of turkeys but the ads will, too. His company, like Hy-Vee, offers a promotion right now for a free turkey.

Gretta Irwin, executive director and home economist for the Iowa Turkey Federation, said that companies don’t offer promotions for turkeys if the birds are in short supply. “Iowans are finding great prices on whole turkeys again this year,” Irwin email, “When they are ‘FREE’ I’m not worried about a shortage of turkeys.”

Irwin also shared the top turkey-producing states:

  • 1.         Minnesota, 40.5 million
  • 2.         North Carolina, 29 million
  • 3.         Arkansas, 27 million
  • 4.         Indiana, 19.8 million
  • 5.         Missouri, 16.5 million
  • 6.         Virginia, 14.5 million
  • 7.         Iowa, 12.3 million
  • 8.         California, 7 million
  • 9.         Pennsylvania, 6.6 million
  • 10.       Ohio, 5.9 million
  • 11.       Michigan, 5 million
  • 12.       South Dakota, 4 million
  • 13.       West Virginia, 3.6 million

Although, she reminds Iowans that this state largely produces deli meat and other “convenient products.”

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