For the turkey industry, this Thanksgiving is a guessing game.

Hawaii News Now
AP –

Millions of Americans are expected to have scaled-down celebrations amid the pandemic, heeding official warnings against travel and large indoor gatherings. That leaves anxious turkey farmers and grocers scrambling to predict what people will want on their holiday tables.

Kroger — the nation’s largest grocery chain — said its research shows 43% of shoppers plan to celebrate Thanksgiving only with those in their immediate household. It has purchased more turkeys than usual — in all sizes — but it’s also predicting an increase in demand for alternatives, including ham, pork roast and seafood. Kroger also expects to see more demand for plant-based meats, like a vegan roast stuffed with mushrooms and squash.

Walmart says it will still carry plenty of whole turkeys, but it will also have 30% more turkey breasts in its stores to accommodate shoppers who don’t want to cook a whole bird.

It’s not always easy to pivot. Angela Wilson, the owner of Avedano’s Holly Park Market in San Francisco, ordered turkeys last year for this Thanksgiving. She can’t cancel the order, so they’re still coming in.

But Wilson said this Thanksgiving might be busier than in the past, since customers who usually go out of town will be staying home. She’s also stocking up on smaller birds like quail and game hen.

Some farmers are making tweaks based on what they think customers will be looking for. Dede Boies raises heritage breed turkeys at Root Down Farm in Pescadero, California. The turkeys she sells for Thanksgiving were born in May, so she has spent months thinking about how the coronavirus might impact the holidays.

Boies decided to harvest some turkeys early this year. It’s a gamble, because the birds gain a lot of fat and flavor in their final few weeks, but she figures customers will want smaller birds. She’s also offering more chickens and ducks.

“We’ve invested so much time and energy and love into these birds, and the whole point is that they go and they are celebrated with people for these great meals. We’re just really hoping that still happens,” Boies said.

Butterball — which typically sells 30% of America’s 40 million Thanksgiving turkeys — said it’s expecting more gatherings, but it’s not convinced people will want smaller turkeys. Its research shows that 75% of consumers plan to serve the same size turkey or a larger turkey than they did last year.

Butterball says about half its turkeys will be in the 10-16 lb. range and half will be in the 16-24 lb. range, the same as usual. Anyone looking for a specific size should plan to shop early, said Rebecca Welch, senior brand manager for seasonal at Butterball.

“Don’t be afraid to go big,” she said. “It’s just as easy to cook a large turkey as it is a smaller one, and it means more leftovers.”

Nancy Johnson Horn of Queens, New York, usually shares a big turkey with her in-laws, her parents and her own family of five. But Horn, who writes The Mama Maven blog, said that gathering won’t happen this year because her kids are attending school in-person and she is worried about spreading the virus.

“As much as it hurts me, I will have to cook myself this year,” she said. She’s not sure what will be on the menu. She’s only cooked a whole turkey once in her life and she’s never made mashed potatoes.

This Thanksgiving comes at an already tenuous time for the $4.3 billion U.S. turkey industry. Thanks to better technology for carving breast meat, per capita consumption of turkey nearly doubled over the 1980s, peaking at 14.4 pounds per person in 1996, according to Mark Jordan, executive director of LEAP Market Analytics in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

But interest in turkey has been steadily falling, thanks in part to price increases five years ago when flocks were hit by bird flu. Annual consumption is now around 12 pounds, Jordan said.

Turkey sales have even been falling at Thanksgiving as consumers explore alternatives, according to Nielsen data. Last November, Americans spent $643 million on turkey, down 3.5% from the previous year. They spent $1.9 billion on beef, which was up 4%. And they spent $12 million — or more than double the prior year — on alternatives like plant-based meat.

Jordan thinks the uncertainty about Thanksgiving demand will hurt groceries hardest. If they discount turkeys, they can sell them but it will hurt profits. If they keep prices high and consumers pass, they’ll be stuck with a lot of turkeys.

“I don’t see many ways that they win this holiday season,” Jordan said.

The uncertainty may well see a repeat at Christmas — both in the U.S. and beyond.

Christmas turkeys are a staple in Britain, where turkey farmers are also bracing for slimmed-down festivities after the government told people not to meet in groups of more than six.

Richard Calcott raises 2,000 Christmas turkeys each year at Calcott Turkeys in Tamworth, England. He bought his turkey chicks — known as poults — in February and March, and it was too late to switch to a smaller breed when pandemic restrictions took hold.

He has tweaked their diets to reduce the weight of each turkey by around 2.2 pounds by the time they’re ready for market. Still, Calcott said he continues to get some orders for larger birds.

“It’s been a very difficult year for a lot of people this year,” he said. “Christmas will be a good time to get families back together.”

Things To Know Before Experiencing Your First Hawaiian Luau

Travel Awaits
by Sage Scott

With a whole roasted pig unearthed from an in-ground oven, grass-skirt-wearing hula dancers, and bare-chested fire dancers, a luau is a festive, can’t-miss experience in the Aloha State. Originally social gatherings meant to unite a community in celebration of significant events, luaus are now held nearly nightly at resorts and other venues across the Hawaiian Islands.

These casual outdoor evening gatherings are similar to backyard barbecues. But instead of hot dogs and hamburgers cooked on a grill, you’ll enjoy tender chunks of slow-roasted pig. Instead of cold beer, you’ll sip fruity rum-infused mai tais. And all of this will take place in a palm-tree-shaded, oceanfront tropical paradise unlike any other place in the United States.

Here’s what you need to know before you attend your first Hawaiian luau.

What To Wear To A Hawaiian Luau
You can celebrate the beauty of this tropical paradise by donning prints inspired by the islands. For both men and women, bright colors like lemon yellow, lime green, ocean blue, sunset orange, and cherry red are all good luau colors.

Men can wear Aloha shirts (also known as Hawaiian shirts). These button-down, collared shirts typically feature palm trees, flowers, and tropical birds in a variety of eye-catching colors, and they pair well with khaki shorts.

For women, a flowy, floral sundress or Hawaiian-style sarong would be a good choice. Glam up your outfit with a shell necklace or a single plumeria flower tucked behind your ear. Just remember to place the flower behind your right ear if you’re single and your left ear if you’re taken!

Casual footwear is the way to go. Leave your fancy shoes and high heels at the hotel, and opt for comfy sandals or flip-flops instead. You can even kick off your shoes and go barefoot — no one will judge you!

Although Hawaii is known for its beautiful temperatures year-round, it can cool off at night. Be sure to bring a sweater, wrap, or light jacket.

Arriving At A Hawaiian Luau
Guests are typically welcomed to a luau with a lei. Traditional leis are made from fragrant, fresh local flowers like ginger, jasmine, or orchid blossoms. But leis can also be crafted from kukui nuts or shells. Regardless of how it’s constructed, the lei is a symbol of friendship, and it’s important to wear it throughout the luau. Setting the lei on the table, stowing it in your handbag, or throwing it away is considered disrespectful and rude.

Seating At A Hawaiian Luau
At traditional luaus, guests sit on the ground on large mats decorated with elaborate natural centerpieces fashioned from ti leaves, lacy fern fronds, and fragrant flowers. While some luaus still offer traditional seating on mats, guests can also enjoy the luau at long community tables.

While mat seating is a more authentic experience, keep in mind that you’ll be getting up and down several times during the evening to visit the buffet, use the restroom, and enjoy the activities. While you’re sure to have an unobstructed view of the entertainment, consider whether you’ll be comfortable sitting on the ground for up to 3 hours before choosing this option.

Dining At A Hawaiian Luau
Just like Thanksgiving dishes vary across the States, there isn’t a set menu for a luau. However, just like you can expect turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie at any Thanksgiving feast, you can expect several staples at these tropical buffet feasts.

Like the golden brown turkey at the center of every Thanksgiving meal, the kalua pig is the star of every luau. In an earthen firepit known as an imu, a whole pig is seasoned, wrapped in banana leaves, and slow cooked over hot coals. Many luaus kick off with an imu ceremony, during which the roasted pig is unearthed before the pork is shredded and added to the buffet table.

Instead of starches like mashed potatoes or stuffing, luaus feature poi. Made from steamed taro root that is mashed and mixed with water until it has a paste-like consistency, poi is often described as having a bland taste, but it pairs well with the savory items on the buffet. Plus, this superfood is gluten-free, high in fiber, and a good source of calcium.

Fun Fact: Because luau foods were traditionally eaten by hand (and not with utensils), the consistency of poi was determined by how many fingers were required to scoop it up and eat it — three fingers, two fingers, or one finger (the thickest).

At the end of the luau buffet, look for coconut-flavored desserts like haupia and kulolo. Haupia is made by blending coconut milk with sugar, water, and cornstarch to create a thick, yogurt-like mixture that is chilled and served in squares. Kulolo mixes coconut milk with taro root (yes, the same staple used to create poi) and sugar to form fudge-like squares.

Other dishes commonly served at luaus include poke, lomi lomi salmon, huli huli chicken, sweet potatoes, chicken long rice, macaroni salad, Hawaiian rolls, and pineapple.

Drinking At A Hawaiian Luau
The mai tai is one of the most popular adult beverages served at Hawaiian luaus. This tropical fruit-and-rum cocktail is made by shaking rum, triple sec, orange juice, orgeat syrup, sugar, and a few other ingredients together before garnishing with tropical fruit like a slice of orange or triangle of pineapple.

Another popular rum-based drink served at luaus is the Blue Hawaiian. Served either on ice or blended to perfection, the Blue Hawaiian gets its oceanic color from blue Curacao and its tropical flavors from pineapple juice and cream of coconut.

Although it was concocted in Puerto Rico, an island on the opposite side of the U.S. from Hawaii, it’s not uncommon to see the pina colada on the drink menu at Hawaiian luaus.

Once the guests have enjoyed kalua pig and poi, Polynesian musicians, luau dancers, and other performers take the stage. Sit back and sip another tropical fruit-infused cocktail while enjoying ukulele music, fire knife dancing, and hula. Many Hawaiian luaus encourage audience participation, and some will invite guests onto the stage for hula lessons.

In addition to luau performers, some Hawaiian luaus include additional interactive experiences like ukulele lessons, coconut leaf headband weaving, and lei making.

How Long Does A Luau Last?

Luaus are traditionally scheduled to include the magnificent Hawaiian sunset and typically last about 2 to 3 hours. While you’ll want to confirm the time of your specific luau experience, most luaus begin around 5 or 6 p.m. and end around 8 or 9 p.m.

How Much Does A Luau Cost?
Located 2,500 miles off the coast of California in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is not known as a budget destination. And just as you may be surprised by the price of a fresh pineapple or a gallon of gasoline in Hawaii, you will find that Hawaiian luaus can be a bit pricey. Expect to pay around $100 per person as a starting point, with upgraded experiences — like reserved seating, additional drink tickets, and souvenir photo opportunities — increasing the package price. That said, a trip to Hawaii is often a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, and a Hawaiian luau is an important part of that experience.

If you don’t upgrade your Hawaiian luau package to include reserved seating, be sure to arrive early to score a good spot. Arriving early will also ensure you’re sipping your first mai tai in record time and engaging in the other activities before the lines get long.

Pro Tip: From the servers to the entertainers, the folks helping to ensure you have a memorable luau experience always appreciate a cash tip.

The Best Luaus In Hawaii
Hawaiian luaus vary by island. Most large resorts offer evening luaus, and your hotel concierge is likely to recommend the in-house option if one is available. If you are enjoying an accommodation without an on-site luau, ask your concierge, host, or another local for a recommendation.

On the island of Oahu, about an hour north of Honolulu, the Polynesian Cultural Center’s luau is considered to be one of the most authentic. Transportation from Waikiki is available for an additional charge, and upgraded packages include lei greetings, canoe rides, and backstage tours.

Provided you’re not battling jet lag, try to attend your first Hawaiian luau as soon as you can after arriving in Hawaii. From the food to the entertainment, a luau is a fantastic way to learn about and embrace the local dishes, history, and culture.

What’s next 2020? The answer: Turkey Dinner Candy Corn It’s sweet and savory

Hawaii News Now
By Ed Payne

(Gray News) – The folks at Brach’s have come up with something new that may – or may not – tempt your taste buds this Thanksgiving.

The candy maker is coming out with Turkey Dinner Candy Corn. And, yes, it’s just what it sounds like.

“Brach’s Turkey Dinner includes all of the traditional Thanksgiving favorites,” the Brach’s website says. “From roasted turkey, green beans and stuffing to ginger glazed carrots, cranberry sauce and sweet potato pie.”

The sweet and savory confection will be sold at Walgreens.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thanksgiving Holiday Guide

Craft Fairs & Markets

Hoala Winter Craft Sale A variety of craft, food and specialty booths. Hoala School, 1067 A California Ave.: Sat., 12/4, (9am–3pm) 621-1898

Mamo Arts Market The arts market features Native Hawaiian artisans, keiki activities and live music. Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St.: Sat., 12/4, (9am–5pm) Free. 847-3511

36th Annual Mayor’s Craft Sale The yearly event features unique handmade items created by city senior clubs, along with other exciting arts, crafts and entertainment. Neal Blaisdell Center, 777 Ward Ave.: Sat., 12/4, (9am–2pm) Free. 768-3045

“It’s Really Nice” Fine Arts & Crafts Show A fine arts and crafts show through the holidays. [www.louispohlgallery.com]. Louis Pohl Gallery, 1111 Nuuanu Ave.: Runs through Tue., 12/28, 521-1812

7th Annual Christmas in Honolulu An evening craft fair with local art, clothing, soup mixes, jewelry, ceramics, purses and more. Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, 2454 South Beretania St.: Tue., 11/30, (5–8:30pm) Free. 734-3693

12 Ways of Christmas A dozen craft artisans showcase one-of-a-kind items. Cafe Laufer, 3565 Waialae Ave., Mon., 11/29, (5–9pm) 753-3611

Editorial – A time for … turkey trivia : Viewpoints – Tampa Bay Newspapers

Just in case you wanted to know, here’s some Thanksgiving trivia for you to chew on as you enjoy the holiday with family and friends.

• The National Turkey Federation says that 87 percent of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving whether it’s coffee rubbed turkey from Hawaii, barbecued turkey, cajun fried turkey or – say it isn’t so – in a television frozen dinner.

USDA Chickens and Eggs Report for October

Bloomberg

Following is the text of the U.S. chicken and eggs report, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

October Egg Production Down Slightly

United States egg production totaled 7.68 billion during October 2010, down slightly from last year. Production included 6.60 billion table eggs, and 1.08 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.01 billion were broiler-type and 71 million were egg-type. The total number of layers during October 2010 averaged 336 million, up slightly from last year. October egg production per 100 layers was 2,285 eggs, down slightly from October 2009.

All layers in the United States on November 1, 2010 totaled 336 million, down slightly from last year. The 336 million layers consisted of 279 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 54.2 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs, and 2.96 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on November 1, 2010, averaged 73.8 eggs per 100 layers, down 1 percent from November 1, 2009.

Egg-Type Chicks Hatched Up 10 Percent

Egg-type chicks hatched during October 2010 totaled 41.3 million, up 10 percent from October 2009. Eggs in incubators totaled 38.6 million on November 1, 2010, up 12 percent from a year ago.

Food Bank buys 900 turkeys to ease holiday hunger

KAPA‘A — Kelvin Moniz watched as the Safeway forklift driver negotiated more than six pallets of turkeys into the waiting Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank truck, Monday.

“We bought about 900 turkeys to help feed the hungry for Thanksgiving,” said Moniz, KIFB operations manager. “This is more than last year when we could only afford to buy about 500 turkeys.”

Distribution of the holiday turkeys will take place at numerous locations island-wide on Thursday, although Moniz said some may go out a little later.

Despite the amount which is almost double from that purchased last year, Moniz said they are still in need of more birds.

“Right now, we’re at least 16 turkeys short,” he said. “But by the end of the week, we anticipate a shortage of about 50 turkeys.”

The purchase of turkeys from Safeway coincides with the arrival of Thanksgiving and the holidays and highlights the need for support for the KIFB Holiday Food and Fund Drive which runs through Dec. 15.

“Sunday we got a contribution from the Hawai‘i Children’s Theater for about 380 pounds of food,” Moniz said. “That came from the ‘Peter Pan’ production going on. The HCT did a drive where half was contributed to the Salvation Army and half to the KIFB. All told, they collected more than 700 pounds of food — in one weekend!”

DLNR seeks comments on hunting rules

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is continuing to hold statewide public hearings this week and next for Hawaii Administrative Rule (HAR) amendments to update Chapters 13-122 and 123, hunting rules for game birds and game mammals.

Public information meetings will start at 6 p.m., followed by public hearings at 7 p.m. not to exceed two hours.

The Big Island sessions will be Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 16-17.