Butterball CEO Not Worried Chicken Will Replace Thanksgiving Turkey

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Butterball CEO Not Worried Chicken Will Replace Thanksgiving Turkey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Appearing on Neal Cavuto’s Fox business show, Cavuto: Coast to Coast, Butterball CEO Jay Jandrain made it clear that his company isn’t feeling much of the impact of higher turkey prices.

Maren Caruso | Getty Images

Jandrain told Cavuto that his company expects “everyone who wants a turkey will get one this year.” His claim comes after the New York Post reported that some customers are responding to a spike in turkey prices by cooking up chicken this Thanksgiving.

“We actually shipped more product this year than last year,” said Jandrain, “and so far we’re hearing from retailers that the pull-through is good, there’s no shortage and everyone should be able to get exactly what what they are looking for.”

According to Jandrain, 85% of people who responded to Butterball polls eat turkey on Thanksgiving. The CEO said he “didn’t see any data at all on chicken substitutes for turkey.”

It may be understandable that some consumers are opting for alternative poultry dishes on this holiday. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, turkey prices increased by up to 23%, butter by 25.8% and flour by 17.1%. Eggs are also 32.5% more expensive this year thanks to the same bird flu outbreak which impacted turkey costs.

According to Jandrain, Butterball has been working to confine rising costs to business operations rather than passing them on to consumers. “The way our farm is set up,” he said, “we supply feed to our farmers who grow turkeys for us. So we know all too well how expensive this is and the impact that has on the cost of the product.”

While Thanksgiving chicken is so common that many recipes can be found online, it looks like turkey traditions are still safe. The holiday is fast approaching, but anyone looking for alternative entrees besides the two birds will find choices — from salmon to lasagna — on the New York Times’ holiday cookery page.