Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 41

THE CALENDAR IS IN ITS LAST MONTHS OF 2021, which means
holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas will soon be upon us,
and those are two of the biggest occasions for turkey buying in the
supermarkets.
That's why many turkey producers concentrate on this time. In fact,
Rebecca Welch, senior brand manager at Butterball, Garner, N.C., noted
the company's immediate focus is on products purchased mostly
around Thanksgiving because they know Americans are looking
forward to celebrating the holiday.
A recent Butterball survey indicated 90% of people are excited about
celebrating Thanksgiving, and 90% of those will do so with a turkey at
the center of the meal.
" Right now, due to COVID concerns related to the delta variant, we
see about 1/3 of consumers considering a smaller gathering again
this year, so it's possible demand could be similar to what we saw last
year, " Welch said. " Last year, we saw record numbers of Thanksgiving
celebrations as many people celebrated Thanksgiving with only
immediate family, which meant a lot of first-time hosts and more
celebrations than we would traditionally see. "
That also meant new opportunities for supermarkets to bring new
customers to the turkey category, especially millennial shoppers who
accounted for 44% of first-time holiday hosting in 2020.
Turkey was a big seller during the pandemic. Initially, when other
proteins were running short, customers looked for ways to fill voids in
their meat case, and turkey was an available and viable option.
" Many consumers looking to put a protein on their table found turkey
as an excellent new option, " said Douglas Santschi, vice president and
general manager, prepared foodservice, Tyson Foods, headquartered in
Springdale, Arkansas. " Learning to use ground turkey instead of ground
beef, or a turkey filet as a center of plate option, turkey was introduced
to many new consumers as a delicious protein option with endless
possibilities for customization. "
Kim Anderson, brand manager for the Jennie-O Turkey Store division
of Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods, noted consumers are increasingly
on the lookout for foods and recipe inspiration that serve their overall
health and wellbeing-food that does more than provide nourishment-
and lean turkey does just that.
" We're also seeing people replace traditionally higher calorie meats in
dishes like burgers and tacos with ground turkey for a more wholesome
option, " she said. " We work with some top chefs in the country,
and turkey is being used in restaurants and at home in some pretty
creative ways. "
Farm to table continues to be important to consumers as well, and
Hormel provides clear visibility to consumers through its Jennie-O
Turkey Tracker, which allows consumers to track their whole turkeys
back to the Midwest farms where they were raised.
" We're also seeing a rise in the use of countertop appliances and
consumers looking for turkey recipes they can make in air fryers and
multicookers, " Anderson said.
A four-season approach
Outside of Thanksgiving, in many of the categories where turkey
companies compete, demand for turkey products saw increases above
pre-pandemic levels.
For example, volume sales of the turkey bacon and turkey breakfast
sausage categories are both up nearly 20% over the same time period
in 2019 according to IRI data that ended on Sept. 5, as consumers
continue to look to turkey to provide delicious, high protein alternatives
in the morning.
While Butterball is known for its holiday turkeys, the company also
provides products in pretty much every category where turkey exists,
including retail service deli, fresh meat case, and convenient fully
cooked products like turkey bacon and turkey breakfast sausage. In
tune with emerging consumer needs, it also offers the Farm to Family
by Butterball brand for products made from turkeys raised either
organically or without antibiotics.
" We find it important to focus on key time periods year-round like
Butterball turkey burgers in summer when people are reaching for
interesting, flavorful items on the grill or ground turkey in January when
people are looking for turkey's naturally healthy protein to jump start
their healthful living new year's resolutions, " Welch said. " There are also
opportunities to market turkey products as an everyday portion of the
plate, like swapping turkey breakfast sausage or bacon for traditional
pork bacon for turkey's natural health benefits. "
Santschi noted the most significant factor in establishing a yearround
turkey business is having a complete portfolio of turkey options
and continually looking for ways to innovate to keep the category fresh
and exciting.
" Consumers and operators also need to have tools such as recipe
inspiration to allow them to explore the many ways turkey can be used,
including it as the main feature or an ingredient in a dish, " he said.
Establishing a year-round program is about education and
inspiration, Anderson said.
" Inspiring those who love food to experiment with turkey in nontraditional
ways and inspiring consumers to use turkey for easy
weeknight meals like burgers, tacos, pastas and soups, " she said.
" Introducing turkey to young fans through creative dishes like meatballs
and even turkey bacon. There are endless possibilities from the
restaurant to the home. "
New and improved
Santschi noted new and bold flavors are the latest buzz in turkey,
and Tyson Foods has responded to the trend with its recent Sara Lee
Nashville Hot Turkey Breast.
The company also has three new offerings that focus on big, bold
flavor profiles and items that save time in the kitchen or back-of-house
with popular flavors while still allowing for customization to fit any plate
or menu. These are Whole Muscle Nashville Hot Turkey Breast; Whole
Muscle Rotisserie Dry Rub Turkey Breast; and Whole Muscle Roasted
Garlic & Herb Dry Rub Turkey Breast.
" Tyson Foods works closely with our R&D team members and
culinary chefs to create flavor options for center-of-plate, " she said. " We
also partner with the National Turkey Federation and the Iowa Turkey
Federation to capture these on-trend flavors and develop products that
are interesting and attractive to consumers. "
By the end of 2021, Butterball will launch a new breast roast item
made from 100% breast meat designed to meet the needs for smaller
gatherings in a convenient way.
supermarketperimeter.com
NOVEMBER 2021 - 41
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Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021

Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2021 - 7
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