Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday in the United States, where families and friends come together to share a meal and give thanks for their blessings. But have you ever stopped to think about how all that turkey makes its way to your table? The answer lies in a complex supply chain that starts six months before the holiday.
According to the National Turkey Federation, over 730 million pounds of turkey will be consumed during the US holiday season, equating to 45 million turkeys, making up 17% of all turkeys raised in the country. That’s a lot of turkeys; ensuring it is available in time for the holiday is no easy feat.
To ensure that there is enough supply of frozen and fresh turkeys, retailers work closely with large-scale turkey producers and local farms to establish contracts, arrange transportation, and make deliveries in time for the big day. While frozen turkeys can be bred, slaughtered, and frozen year-round, fresh turkeys require a different approach. Producers need to incubate eggs laid in spring, raise the turkeys for 10-18 weeks, and deliver them to retailers in time for the holiday season. This requires a lot of planning and coordination between producers, retailers, truckers, and suppliers.
Balancing supply and demand is also a challenge for retailers, especially regarding fresh turkeys. Overstocking frozen turkeys isn’t a big concern as they can be saved for Christmas or sold below market value after Thanksgiving. Turkey’s prices per pound are down year-over-year, making it an attractive option for consumers. On the other hand, fresh turkeys must be delivered, stocked, and sold quickly to ensure freshness and profitability. They are more expensive and have a shelf life of only 21 days, so they must be packed with a “use by” date after Thanksgiving.
But it’s not just the turkey impacted by the holiday rush. The cost of traditional Thanksgiving staples, such as potatoes, corn, and ham, has increased due to inflation and supply chain issues. Other ingredients, like butter and canned fruits, have also faced increased costs. Conversely, wine and beer prices have remained relatively stable, with under 3% and 5% increases, respectively.
Transportation is also a concern during the holidays. Airfares are up over 40%, and gas prices are higher than last year, making it more expensive to travel. However, rental car prices have gone down by at least 3.5%. The railroad industry is worth watching as a strike threat looms, with two of the 12 labor unions voting down a new contract. Despite this, both unions have agreed to extend a cooling-off period through at least December 4th.
With all these challenges, it’s no wonder that logistics and supply chain management during the holidays can be stressful. But that’s where KIVO BPO comes in. Our team is equipped with advanced technology and specialized services to ensure a smooth season. We understand the complexities of the turkey supply chain. We can help with transportation and logistics, ensuring your turkey and other holiday essentials arrive on time and in perfect condition.
At KIVO, we keep you informed about the status of your orders at all times, so you can focus on enjoying the holiday season with your loved ones. Our team has the expertise and advanced technology to help ensure that your gifts are delivered on time and in perfect condition. So, as you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey feast, take a moment to appreciate all the work that goes into making this holiday a reality. And with the help of KIVO, you can easily relax and enjoy the holidays.