Global Agriculture

Majority of Thanksgiving Celebrations Predicted to Include Whole Turkeys this Year, Officially Marking a Return to Pre-Pandemic Gatherings with Family and Friends

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Cargill’s Future of Turkey study also reveals many Americans aren’t sure what to do with the entire bird

10 November 2023, Minneapolis: As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, Cargill’s U.S.-focused Future of Turkey study indicates a return to traditional Thanksgiving celebrations, with more than 8 in 10 consumers who responded saying they plan to purchase a whole turkey this year. This marks a turnaround from previous years when consumers often purchased individual turkey parts such as turkey breasts as they exercised caution during the pandemic with smaller gatherings and celebrations. 

“Americans hold onto the belief that a whole turkey should be the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends,” said Hans Kabat, President of Cargill’s North American protein business. “I am so grateful for our employees, and the hundreds of independent farmers we partner with, who are all working hard to put our turkeys on one out of every three Thanksgiving dinner tables this year.”

With a return to whole turkey purchases, the Cargill study additionally indicated that nearly half of Americans who aren’t planning to buy a whole turkey are worried about having ‘too many leftovers.’ To help home chefs to maximize the value of their whole turkey purchase this year, Cargill Corporate Chef Janet Bourbon shares four ways consumers can enjoy and make the most of their whole turkeys this Thanksgiving.

  1. Maximize turkey meat: Carve the turkey and store the meat in sealed containers to keep it fresher for longer. Explore endless possibilities for your leftover turkey meat, from mouthwatering sandwiches to hearty soups and turkey chili. Don’t forget to consume leftovers within 3-4 days to ensure food safety and quality or freeze them to be eaten later.
  2. Discover the delicious potential of giblets: The giblets, including the heart, liver, gizzard, and sometimes the neck, are flavorful treasures often neglected and thrown away.
  3. Savor the goodness of gravy: Create a tantalizing giblet gravy by simmering the turkey neck, wing tips, half an onion, carrot, and celery in water. Strain and reserve the liquid for your gravy. Sauté the chopped gizzard, liver, and heart in butter until browned and add them to your gravy 
  4. Treat your pets: Cooked giblets can also serve as a delightful treat for your furry friends, especially dogs.

For more information and recipe ideas, including how to thaw, prep and cook a whole turkey, and make the most of your leftovers, visit our “Guide to Good,” found on Cargill’s Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms turkey brand websites.

If you’d like to speak with a Cargill or brand representative on trends for this holiday season or ways to maximize the whole turkey, please contact

Also Read: Hidden costs of global agrifood systems worth at least $10 trillion

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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