Price, Consumption Of Turkey Going Up (175)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Turkey prices are going up, but more people are eating them anyway, a University of Tennessee poultry specialist said Tuesday.

 Dr. Charlie Goan said the big birds are in plentiful supply, but higher grain prices due to bad weather and other factors are driving prices up.

Turkey prices are about 73 cents per pound and rising, Goan said. That is actually a bit lower than this time last year, but prices are expected this week to slightly exceed last year’s peak, he said.

 Despite a more expensive Thanksgiving dinner, people are eating more turkey year round, Goan said.

 “We’re seeing an increase in turkey consumption of one to two pounds per year per person, as well as an increase in chicken consumption,” Goan said. “The rise is related to turkey’s increasing usage in convenience foods, and more health consciousness among consumers.”

 U.S. turkey consumption in 1995 averaged about 18 pounds per person, Goan said. People also ate about 80 pounds of chicken, 75 pounds of beef and 69 pounds of pork annually, he said.

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 Contact: Dr. Charlie Goan (423-974-7351)