Wholesale turkey prices lowest in the last three years

Frozen turkeys at Festival Foods on Mason St. in Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. The 2015 Avian Flu killed nearly 8 million turkeys, causing a turkey shortage last year. New data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests a reversal of that trend.

Prices per pound of frozen turkey are at their lowest in the last three years. According to the USDA, last year an average-sized frozen turkey cost about $1.20 per pound wholesale. Now that price is down to $0.95 per pound.

"Because of the bird flu outbreak prices were elevated. In 2016 you did see relatively elevated prices as well, which perhaps is a lingering effect of the outbreak on production, but nonetheless you would have been expecting prices to be increasing each quarter and they're definitely not," said Alex Melton, USDA Agricultural Economist.

USDA charts showed the amount of turkeys in cold storage right now compared to 2016 has also increased.

"I don't think exports have been necessarily low this year, so I think the expectation we weighed it out to is just been that there's been a lower demand and production has not necessarily slowed down," Melton added.

Meat service counter manager, Michael Glodoski, says Festival Foods is preparing for people to gobble up turkeys next week, because of a sale.

"Butterballs are going to be $0.99 a pound with an additional $20 purchase and then the Essential Everyday ones will drop to $0.59 a pound with an additional $20 purchase as well," said Glodoski.

Next week may be the best time to get your thanksgiving turkey with all the ongoing deals, but Glodoski says if customers need a turkey bigger than the usual size, put the special order in right away.

"The bigger ones tend to be the fastest to go so with the sale that we have next week it'd probably be best to grab them right away," said Glodoski.