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Analysis: Chicken’s Enhanced Presence on Freezer Shelves

Given the turbulent market undercurrent which continues to ensnarl the chicken complex, players are digging through the supply-side data as they scavenge the stats for direction and clarity...

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Oct 3 8:48 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: The Differing Directions of Pork Trim and Picnics

In this brief analysis we will take a look at pork movement as we head into Fall, with two categories seeing opposite price action...

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Sep 23 10:03 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Shell Egg Prices Crack New Record Highs Amid Strong Demand, Depleted Inventories

The U.S. shell egg market cracked a new all-time high on Tuesday, as strong demand continues to chip away at already-low inventory levels, which have been curtailed by this year’s bird flu outbreak and, more recently, seasonal flock rotations...

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Sep 22 8:11 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Seasonal Trends Start to Shift 

Farewell, summer. Today is the first day of fall and seasonal retail trends are beginning to shift as grocers increasingly showcase autumn favorites like roasts and finger foods for football fans. 

However, temperatures in many parts of the nation have yet to cool off substantially. This could stretch the grilling season for a little longer. As milder weather starts to settle in for the long run, more households may opt to cook indoors and up their oven usage.

Beef roasts have increased in feature volume and currently claim 27.4% of total beef ads. This compares to 22% of beef ads two weeks ago. Steaks still hold the majority of beef feature volume, followed by ground beef...

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Sep 22 8:07 AM, UB Newswires

This Week in Retail: Protein Indices Are Above 3-Year Average; CPI Data Released 

In the face of ongoing inflationary pressures along with animal disease issues impacting the protein industry, wholesale beef, pork, and poultry prices continue to reside at or challenge all-time highs. 

In the retail red meat complex, Urner Barry’s weekly retail feature beef index this week averages $6.34 per pound, down $1.02 per pound from a week ago but 6 cents per pound above the 3-year average.

The boxed beef market is currently moving mostly sideways but has dipped to 52-week lows in recent days. Despite this, Urner Barry's Choice and Select cutouts remain at near seasonal all-time highs, second or third to 2021 and 2014....

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Sep 15 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Plotting the Course of Chicken Tenders

While items such as wings, boneless breasts, and WOGs have been a central focal point of market dialogue recently, tenders have been slow to relinquish the limelight...

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Sep 9 7:26 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: The Mad Dash for Whole Body Birds

Now that Labor Day is in the rearview mirror, and with no food-centric holidays on the radar before Thanksgiving, it's a timely opportunity to shift our focus towards whole turkeys...

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Sep 8 8:30 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Seasonal Transition for the Meat Case

With Labor Day now behind us, retailers are preparing for the transition from summer staples to fall favorites.

Tailgaiting items like burgers and ribs are being featured in time for the National Football League season, which kicks off today! This could support sales at the meat case as consumers gather to cheer on their teams while chowing down on finger foods. 

A game-time staple, chicken wings are on feature for $2.97 per pound, down 2 cents from a year ago. Wholesale wing prices have gained nearly 7 percent so far this year but are currently well below last year’s record highs, providing the opportunity for retailers and foodservice to showcase attractive promotions. However, boneless breasts have mostly been at record highs so far this year—unwelcome news for boneless wing lovers...

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Sep 8 8:06 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Pork trim has lost up to 40% since Mid-August

Over the last two weeks, pork 42s, 72s, and boneless picnics (72% lean point) have seen significant declines in value...

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Sep 2 8:37 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Dwindling Turkey Supply: A Consequence of Disease and Hatch

For buyers and sellers alike, 2022 is shaping up to be an extremely challenging year to successfully navigate...

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Sep 2 8:15 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Why are lamb weights elevated versus last year?

As this year has worn on, many participants have noted that domestic lamb weights are much heavier than last year...

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Sep 1 9:51 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: What is happening with boneless pork butts?

The boneless butt market was recently encountering a price correction, but over the last two weeks, it has started to level out as participants have found attractive price points...

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Aug 25 9:33 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Gearing Up for the Last Major Retail Event of Summer

Grocers are gearing up for the last major retail buying occasion of the season—Labor Day weekend. The upcoming holiday signals the “unofficial end” of summer and retailers are making the final push for grilling items.

In the wholesale beef market, Urner Barry’s Choice beef cutout has been largely sideways since mid-May. At present, the cutout is down about 23% from last year's level, which was a seasonal all-time high.

However, the cutout remains at the second highest level in history for this time of year. This has made it difficult for grocers to procure inventory for holiday promotions at lower prices...

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Aug 25 8:15 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Tom Harvest Stymies Seasonal Buying Opportunities

For turkey market participants, especially those on the further processing and retail deli side of the business, this summer is shaping up to be anything but “routine”...

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Aug 18 10:01 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Beef Features Increase Ahead of Labor Day

It may be hard to believe, but Labor Day weekend is just over two weeks away.

Grocers have already completed the bulk of their purchases for the last major grilling occasion of the summer season. 

The meat case could perform well over the holiday with several popular grilling items featured at lower price points compared to last year. Ground beef is likely to grab a large share of circular space as households fire up the grill with burgers and more...

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Aug 18 8:12 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Shell Egg Prices Stabilize Amid Demand Improvements, Flock Rotations

Monday halted an almost three-week correction in the shell-egg market that saw our benchmark Midwest large quotation shed 36.7% of its value. The market in recent weeks had been weighed down by sluggish retail business after wholesale values skyrocketed to a record-high of $3.40/dozen in July. As those prices trickled down to the retail level, consumer interest faded...

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Aug 17 9:15 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: June Chicken Exports: A Mid-Year Perspective Check

Although the month-over-month (MoM) chicken export comparisons during June aren’t particularly revealing at first glance, it’s important to maintain a broad sense of perspective on just how far the chicken industry has come so far this year...

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Aug 15 9:34 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: What is driving the strength behind pork trim? Demand, supply, or both?

As we currently sit in the second week of August, prices of fresh 42%, 72% and 72% lean boneless picnic trim are historically elevated...

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Aug 12 9:12 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Exports Remain Under the Weather

The latest export reading confirms what many players within the turkey industry already know: June was another lackluster month when it comes to outward movement...

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Aug 11 8:05 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Reviewing the Chicken Complex; CPI Update

This week in retail, we’ll take a deeper dive into the retail chicken landscape ahead of the approaching NFL season, which officially kicks off in four weeks.

Chicken currently ranks fourth in protein buying opportunities with 16.4%. Seafood, beef, and pork hold the top three spots, respectively.

Urner Barry’s Weekly Retail Feature Chicken Index is $2.96 per pound this week, up 10% from the 5-year average of $2.69 per pound. 

Within the chicken complex, boneless skinless breasts hold the most ad volume at 42.5%. Drumsticks are the next highest featured item with 15.5% of total chicken ads...

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Aug 11 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Turkey Market Considerations

Given the ongoing strength that the turkey complex continues to exude here in early August, we thought it would be a good opportunity to dig down into some contributing factors which are playing a highly impactful role in shaping the current market landscape...

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Aug 5 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Sizing Up August, Back to School Needs 

With August now in full swing, households are eager to enjoy the final weeks of summer.

Labor Day weekend, which marks the unofficial end of the summer season, is four weeks away while the NFL season officially kicks off shortly after on September 8.

In some states, kids are returning to school in less than two weeks. Circulars are proactively promoting back-to-school staples including snacks along with breakfast and sandwich items—giving a boost to lunch meat sales...

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Aug 4 8:10 AM, UB Newswires

This Week in Retail: Wrapping Up July; Digesting the Latest GDP Data  

Wrapping up July, grocers are promoting fan-favorite grilling items like steaks, pork chops, and shrimp in an effort to encourage at-home cooking during the dog days of summer—a seasonally sluggish period for meat sales.

Seafood features make up nearly 33% of total protein ad volume this week, marking the fifth consecutive week that it has seized the top spot. Beef comes in second with 23%, closely followed by pork with 22%. Chicken claims 17.5% and eggs make up 1.3% of ad space, down from nearly 5% the week...


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Jul 28 8:57 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Are Domestic Lamb Prices Actually Weak, or Is It All Relative?

Heavy lamb carcass prices for the week of July 18, 2022 are at $383.5/cwt which is a 52 week-low and when comparing to the same week in 2021, a whopping 24% lower...

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Jul 28 8:55 AM, Urner Barry

Analysis: Turkey Cold Storage Holdings Maintain Seasonal Stride in June

With the latest release of the USDA’s Cold Storage Report hot off the press, turkey market participants are eagerly digging into the figures as they assess the mid-year supply standing...

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Jul 28 8:49 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Why Have Pork Exports to Japan Decreased?

With the Japanese Yen weakening against the US dollar, it is no wonder that exports are well under year ago levels on a weekly and monthly basis for 2022...

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Jul 22 9:05 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Tom Production Slump: A Sign of the Times

As the dust surrounding HPAI gradually settles, turkey market participants are scouring the production stats in an attempt to hone their purchasing and selling strategy for the remainder of the year...

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Jul 21 9:40 AM, Urner Barry

The Current State of the Economy - Optimism or Recession?

For the past couple of months, the nation has been tuning in once a month at 8:30 am EST for the reading of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) report. Each month, numbers have indicated levels of inflation not seen in decades. Headlines have grabbed the attention of everyone, causing concern and fear for potential recession. But how concerned should market participants be with the current state of the economy...

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Jul 21 8:22 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Extreme Heat and its Impact on Protein Demand

This week in retail, we'll take a look at the widespread heat across most of the country and its impact on protein demand. 

With excessive heat warnings currently in effect for more than 100 million people, consumers will be less likely to cook. This could potentially reduce retail meat sales, which normally slow around this time of year due to seasonal factors including a lack of major holidays following Independence Day until Labor Day. 

While the extreme weather could have a negative near-term impact on meat sales, demand for pork and beef appears to be outperforming seasonal expectations...

While the extreme weather could have a negative near-term impact on meat sales, demand for pork and beef appears to be outperforming seasonal expectations...

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Jul 21 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: European Egg Market Steady-But-Firm Amid High Input Costs, Tight Supplies

As is typical of this time of year with many Europeans traveling on summer holiday, contacts across the EU are reporting lackluster demand in consumer markets this week...

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Jul 18 9:59 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Export Tonnage Gets Big Boost from Mexico

On a month-over-month (MoM) basis, total turkey export volume realized a notable leap in May...

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Jul 15 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Consumer Spending in Question as Inflation Heats Up

Summer is heating up and so is inflation—clouding the outlook for consumer spending on food, travel, and beyond. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation climbed to 9.1% in June, more than what economists had anticipated. The latest figure was a nearly 41-year high and what some analysts considered to be a peak.

Increases in food and gasoline prices contributed to the relentless surge in inflation, which has elevated the cost of living and forced some households to reconfigure their spending habits...

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Jul 14 8:05 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Shell-Egg Prices Soar Past Record-High Levels on Strong Demand, Supply Constraints

After climbing to the highest level on record July 1, the US table-grade market continues to advance—albeit at a less accelerated pace than what was seen in the back half of June...

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Jul 12 9:17 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: The Changing Tide of Chicken Hatch

When it comes to chicken production, one of the more perplexing topics of conversation over the past year has been the hatch...

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Jul 11 9:46 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Shortloin Prices for July Highest on Record

The short loin entered the year at its highest seasonal level recorded since 1993 - around $600.00/cwt...

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Jul 8 8:28 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Tom Breast Meat: It Ain’t Over 'Til...

During these volatile times it is important to maintain a sense of perspective on the market’s current standing relative to the historic norm...

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Jul 7 9:10 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Travel Season and Foodservice Demand

Following Independence Day, major retail buying occasions are few and far between until Labor Day. While the dog days of summer typically slow retail sales, they can spark interest in retail’s counterpart—foodservice.

The peak travel season, which is roughly from June through August, is usually beneficial for the restaurant sector. This summer, however, there are several variables at play that will influence travel plans, including high gas prices.

According to AAA, the national average for gas ticked lower to $4.80 a gallon, down eight cents over the past week. The downturn was mainly due to falling demand. While demand has softened, it could pick up again as more people plan vacations and hit the road this summer...

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Jul 7 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

Analysis: Turkey Cold Storage: One Foot On and One Foot Off the Seasonal Path

From a month-over-month (MoM) perspective, the most recent cold storage figures through the end of May, generally fall in line with the seasonally anticipated norm...

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Jun 30 9:09 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: This Year's July Fourth Cookout Could be Costlier 

Consumers might sweat when shopping for July Fourth festivities since this year's cookout could be costlier than in years past.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation remains elevated at a multi-decade high with the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rising 14.2% over the last 12 months.

Despite higher retail prices and squeezed budgets, most households are forging ahead with their Independence Day plans. According to the National Retail Federation, 84% of consumers plan to celebrate the Fourth this year.

Of those, 59% of people plan to ring in Independence Day with a cookout...

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Jun 30 8:42 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Shell Egg Prices Soar to Six-Week High Amid Strong Demand, Reduced Outputs

With only two small commercial egg-laying farms impacted by high-path avian influenza in the month of May, it seemed as though the bird flu was largely in the rear view...

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Jun 27 10:15 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: A Birds-Eye Glimpse into Q3 Production Expectations

The most recent release of the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook Report brings with it some signs of encouragement for players on the buying side of the negotiation table...

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Jun 27 8:36 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Thigh Meat Values Maintain Leg Up on Boneless Pork Hams

As we usher in the first days of summer, turkey market participants are consulting with the historic price charts as they attempt to refine their expectations for the season ahead...

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Jun 24 9:19 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Supermarkets Prep for July 4th

The Fourth of July marks the last major retail buying occasion of the summer until Labor Day. 

This year’s holiday falls on a Monday and the extended weekend could encourage consumer cookouts and gatherings.

Grocers are closely eyeing the forecast as record high temperatures persist in the Southern region of the nation this week. 

This week, beef claims almost 28% of total protein features this week. Seafood and pork each account for 22.2%, while chicken clocks in at 16.7%...

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Jun 23 9:50 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: April’s Chicken Exports Bring Hint of Seasonality

Total chicken export volume through the end of April, while noteworthy, generally forged along a well-worn seasonal path...

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Jun 21 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Seafood and Beef Lead Father's Day Ads

Feature ads for grilling favorites including steaks, chops, and ribs are abundant ahead of Father’s Day.

Seafood and beef lead Urner Barry's retail activity index this week, claiming 31.5% and 29.3% of ad space, respectively. Pork comes in with 23.6% of ad space and chicken features make up 9.3%. Egg features are up slightly from the week prior at 4.1%. 

Fresh/frozen filets make up the bulk of seafood ads at 30.5%. Cod is featured at $10.27 per pound on average, up 59% from last year. 4 oz. lobster tails run $29.58 per pound, up from $23.96 per pound in 2021...

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Jun 16 9:00 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Boneless Breast Descent Seasonally Anticipated

It almost goes without saying that jumbo boneless breasts have been the central focus of chicken market participants lately, and with good reason...

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Jun 14 7:35 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Monthly Turkey Production Slips to Seasonal Low









Given the array of distractions that turkey market participants continue to face this year, it’s easy to overlook some of the details that can prove to be significant...

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Jun 10 6:14 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Competing Proteins for Father’s Day

Father’s Day, the second major grilling event of the season, is just 10 days away. Front-page circular ads are showcasing meat and poultry cuts along with other foods for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Grocers will be competing with foodservice for consumer dollars this holiday. According to the National Restaurant Association, Father’s Day is the third busiest day of the year for dining out, behind Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

The most recent National Retail Federation data shows that consumers plan to spend $32.29 million on Father’s Day dinner or brunch this year, up slightly from last year’s figure...

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Jun 9 8:30 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: First Half of The Year Update: What’s going on with Bellies?

2022 has been a wildly volatile year for light skinless bellies. We started the year reaching all-time weekly highs on 9/13 skinless bellies from February 14 through the week of March 28. Immediately following this...

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Jun 3 9:24 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Production Headwinds

With mid-year now upon us and given the generally quiet but extremely robust trade environment post-Memorial Day, we thought it would be a great opportunity to check in on several components which continue to play a highly influential role on the market and its values...

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Jun 2 9:44 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Prepping for the Next Major Summer Grilling Occasion

Grocers will soon be featuring meat and poultry cuts for Father’s Day, the second major grilling event of the season that falls between Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Typically, June is the most active time of the year for backyard grilling as the warmer weather beckons families to cook outdoors. Grocers will try to encourage shoppers to cook at home rather than dining out for Father's Day this year by featuring popular grilling items at attractive price points when possible...


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Jun 2 9:00 AM, UB Newswires

This Week in Retail: Protein Features for Memorial Day Weekend

For Memorial Day weekend, beef features steal the spotlight with 30% of total protein ad volume. Seafood claims 28.5%, followed by pork with 23%. Chicken features account for 15% of retail buying opportunities, while turkey sneaks in with 1.6%.

In the beef complex, steaks have nearly 48% of feature volume. Ground beef ads account for 30%. The steak complex averages $9.18 per pound, up $1.15 per pound from a year ago. All except for top round and bone-in rib are priced higher than a year ago.

The price of 80% lean ground beef averages slightly above a year ago at $3.32 per pound. Burgers are often favored as a cost-effective and easy way to feed large gatherings...

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May 26 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

Analysis: Turkey Cold Storage: Plenty of Vacancy

In terms of total month-over-month (MoM) movement, the latest turkey inventory figures generally keep in line with that of the historic norm...

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May 26 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Production: Is Hatchability Beginning to Heal?

With 2022’s trade environment riddled with challenges ranging from price volatility to disease, buyers and sellers of chicken are going through the production stats with a fine-tooth comb in hopes of finding any sign of relief...

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May 23 8:29 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Beef Ads Lag Leading Up to Memorial Day

The Memorial Day holiday is just one weekend away and grocers are gearing up for the unofficial start to the summer grilling season.

This major retail occasion typically drives sales from the meat case, with items like burgers and hot dogs stealing the spotlight.

Beef features account for 28% of total protein ad volume this week, up slightly from the previous week. Pork and seafood are tied for second with 25%. Chicken claims 16%, even with the week prior. 

While beef holds the top spot in retail buying opportunities, market participants have reported lackluster beef features for this time of year. May is typically the strongest period of the year for beef demand...

While beef holds the top spot in buying opportunities, market participants have noted lackluster beef features for this time of year. May is typically the strongest period of the year for beef demand...

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May 19 8:20 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Turkey Breasts: To Debone or Not To Debone

During these unprecedented times when seasonality has taken a back seat to other more disruptive variables, it is important to maintain a sense of perspective on current market behavior...

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May 19 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Protein Demand and Rising Food Inflation

Fueled by rising food inflation, consumers nationwide continue to see higher prices for protein along with other goods, both at retail and foodservice. 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 8.3% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—down slightly from the month prior. However, the latest figure was still near a 40-year high and slightly above what some analysts had anticipated. 

The food index increased 0.9% last month, its seventeenth consecutive monthly increase. 

Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased in April. The fruits and vegetable category was the only index that declined last month. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.4% in April, driven by a 10.3% increase in the egg index...

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May 12 8:07 AM, UB Newswires

This Week in Retail: Protein Features Spring to Life in May

May has finally arrived, sparking spring fever among consumers and retailers alike. With warmer weather beginning to arrive for parts of the country, retailers will increasingly showcase grilling campaigns for the upcoming summer season. 

The month of May hosts several retail occasions that typically heighten store traffic and sales. Baseball season is underway, leading to increased consumption both inside and outside the stadium of hot dogs, burgers, beers, and more.

The National Hog Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) estimates that MLB fans will consume 19.1 million hot dogs and nearly five million sausages at games this season. Fans are returning to stadiums at maximum capacity this season for the first time since 2019...

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May 5 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

This Week in Retail: Roast Features Make Room for Grilling Ads

Although some portions of the country are still experiencing cool weather and even snow, various grilling cuts are beginning to surface in circulars as consumers dust off their grills—despite being a month away from the unofficial Memorial Day kickstart to summer.

For grocers, the seasonal uptick in demand typically boosts sales for items like loins, butts, and ribs over the next few weeks as warmer weather drives increased outdoor activity.

In the meantime, retailers are preparing for the next retail occasion—Cinco de Mayo. The approaching celebration could increase store traffic as shoppers stock up on pork, beef, and chicken for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and beyond...

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Apr 28 8:50 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Q2 Chicken Production Expectations Buck Protein Downtrend

The latest release of the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook Report is certainly eye-opening as ready-to-cook (RTC) production of most key proteins is projected to decline on a year-over-year (YoY) basis throughout Q2...

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Apr 25 7:58 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Disease-Induced Decline in Total Monthly Turkey Exports

For those on the turkey side of the business, one of the most apparent implications of the HPAI outbreak has been the complications related to exports...

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Apr 21 8:01 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: The Lull Before Grilling Season

The next few weeks following Easter are generally uneventful for retailers. With below-normal temperatures lingering in parts of the country, grocers are anxiously awaiting the confluence of seasonal factors that typically boost protein sales during the summertime. 

At present, grocers are securing holiday-oriented needs for May. The peak demand period for meat typically follows Memorial Day—the unofficial start of the summer season.

Leading up to Memorial Day, grocers will utilize springtime activities including baseball season and Cinco de Mayo to help fill the pauses in retail occasions.

Store circular ads will begin to display the change in season as front-page features for cold-weather items like roasts are replaced with steaks, ribs, and other grilling-centric cuts...

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Apr 21 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

This Week in Retail: A Look at Easter Features; CPI Data Released

This week in retail, the discussion is heavily centered on the economy, rising inflation with the latest CPI growth, and the bird flu outbreak in the U.S. Meanwhile, Easter week has arrived and grocers are looking to capture additional spending on the holiday.

USDA estimates that nearly 24 million poultry birds have died from high-path avian influenza since the virus strain was identified in February. The virus has since spread in wild birds to 32 states.

Another outbreak was confirmed Tuesday afternoon in a flock of roughly 2 million commercial layers in Nebraska, lifting the total number of commercial laying hens affected by HPAI to about 20 million head. 

Urner Barry's Midwest large benchmark quotation is currently at $2.84/dozen, down from $3.01/dozen the week prior but a staggering 176% above a year ago. At retail, large eggs on feature for the holiday week are highlighted at nearly $3/dozen while X-large averages $2.86/dozen...

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Apr 14 8:03 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Weighing Chicken Slaughter Expectations

The chicken industry is no stranger to upward-trending bird weights...

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Apr 8 7:54 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Bird Flu and The Easter Outlook

Easter promotions are in full motion and households are gathering staples including eggs, ham, and lamb for the upcoming holiday.

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend an average of $169.79 this year on Easter-related items, with food accounting for the largest spending category. The collective spending on the holiday is forecast at $20.8 billion, down slightly from $21.6 billion last year.

With HPAI spreading throughout the country, consumers are beginning to see higher prices for shell eggs. Roughly 13 million layers have been impacted by the current outbreak—the country’s worst since 2014-2015—while over two million commercial turkeys have fallen prey to the virus...

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Apr 7 8:25 AM, UB Newswires

This Week in Retail: Looking Towards April

Heading into April, the prospect of warmer weather encourages grocers to revamp their ads to align with seasonal trends. Increased demand for grilling items, especially for premium beef cuts, typically supports sales at the meat case.

Furthermore, the warming trend often translates to increased foodservice demand as more consumers venture out to restaurants. 

Wholesale prices for cuts like strip steaks, porterhouse, and T-bones normally begin to increase sometime in April and peak in the summer months. 

This week in retail, steaks including top round, top sirloin, and T-bone all show a rise in price versus a year ago. The steak complex currently averages 32% higher YoY. Features for 80% ground beef average $3.47 per pound, up from $2.88 per pound last year. Average roast prices are up 42 cents per pound...

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Mar 31 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: HPAI Triggers Turkey Price Break

If there is one segment that has commanded the near-universal attention of turkey market participants lately, it has to be the parts complex...

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Mar 31 7:54 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Shell Egg and Egg Product Values Soar as Bird Flu Claims More than 10 Million Laying Hens

As we prepared to enter the second quarter of the year—and the second year of the pandemic—it appeared that COVID-19 was finally moving into the rearview and that the nation was poised to return to some semblance of normalcy...

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Mar 25 8:30 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Cold Storage: A Contra-Seasonal Tale

A quick glance at the latest Cold Storage Report highlights the contra-seasonal inventory movement of several key lines within the chicken complex...

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Mar 25 8:01 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Steak Features See Boost from Warmer Weather; Eyeing HPAI

Sunday marked the official start of spring. For retailers, that means grilling season is rapidly approaching, and with it—the opportunity for increased meat sales.

Steak features surged this week, accounting for 50.5 percent of total beef ads—up 16 percentage points from the week prior. Feature volume for roasts, meanwhile, has decreased, falling from 38.2 percent last week to 23.2 percent this week.

This week in retail, the steak complex averages $8.12 per pound, up 12.8 percent from a year ago. Boneless strip steaks are widely featured at grocery outlets across the nation and average $11.68 per pound, up 36 percent from a year ago. Top sirloin steaks are up 3.3 percent YoY at $5.64 per pound while bottom round steaks clock in at $5.54 per pound, up a whopping 68.4 percent from this week last year...

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Mar 24 8:27 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Turkey Production: Let’s Talk Toms

Amidst the unpredictable and fluid set of circumstances surrounding the turkey market, we thought it would be a good opportunity to get back to basics and instead, focus on some of the “known” components in play on the supply side...

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Mar 24 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: A Look At The Recent Volatility In The Belly Market

Volatility in the belly market is not uncommon, but the prices we witnessed in February and now in March would be considered extremely elevated, even for spring and summer. Both skin-on and skinless bellies reached, and are currently sitting at, seasonal all-time highs for the last 2 weeks of February and the first 2 weeks of March. For this analysis, we will take a look at 11-13 skinless bellies...

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Mar 21 9:23 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Cumulative Chicken Slaughter Walks Along Well-Worn Path, With Some Caveats

With Q1 all but in the rearview mirror, and in light of the recent volatility surrounding much of the chicken complex, we thought it would be a timely opportunity to assess how the year-to-date (YTD) slaughter figures are stacking up so far...

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Mar 18 8:32 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Showcasing Brisket Features for St. Patrick’s Day

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and grocers are lining their shelves with Irish staples including corned beef brisket, Irish soda bread, and beer.

The National Retail Federation reports that over half of Americans plan to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year, providing a boost for retail sales as consumers stock up on green apparel, food, and beverages. The NRF's survey found that 34% of celebrants will make a special dinner while 19% plan on attending a party at a bar or restaurant.

Roast feature activity accounts for 45% of all beef ads this week. Of that, briskets claim 42% of total roast features. Features for corned beef brisket this week range from $4.28 per pound to $5.93 per pound, depending on the store and region. Brisket feature prices currently average $4.49 per pound, up 22% from a year ago...

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Mar 17 8:45 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: January Turkey Exports: A Rocky Start to the Year

The latest export figures paint a topsy turvy picture with some destinations doubling down on their US turkey consumption when compared to December, while others back away from their anticipated seasonal expectations...

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Mar 17 8:18 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Exports Keep in Line with Seasonal Trend

Although the newly released chicken export figures for January were a mixed bag, trade volume generally followed along a familiar, albeit enhanced, seasonal path...

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Mar 11 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Grocers Spring Forward; Latest CPI Data

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 7.9% in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—the largest 12-month increase since 1982. The data was in line with analysts' expectations, heightening inflation fears in the markets.

The food index was up 1% as food at home gained 1.4% over the month. Both were the largest monthly increases since April 2020, according to the BLS. 

All six major grocery store food group indexes increased in February. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.2%. 

The index for food at home has risen 8.6% in the last 12 months, the largest annual increase since April 1981. The index for food away from home increased 6.8%, the largest 12-month increase in over four decades. 

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, market participants are closely eyeing the risks associated with worsening inflation. The ripple effects of the Russia-Ukraine war could raise consumer prices even further as grocers prepare for the transition to Spring, which is less than two weeks away...

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Mar 10 9:41 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Tom Breast Meat Plots Along Precarious Path

Given seasonally robust demand patterns, barely adequate supplies, and upward trending values all in the face of the multi-state outbreak of HPAI, market participants on both sides of the negotiation table are understandably a little uneasy...

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Mar 10 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: The “Why” Behind WOG Values

For anybody keeping tabs on the chicken market recently, they know that trade experiences and sentiment have been diverse and, at times, contentious...

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Mar 4 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Global Uncertainty and the Food Supply Chain

Headlines are currently dominated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which entered its eighth day today. The Russia-Ukraine war has forced a mass exodus of Ukrainians and upended the global marketplace as market participants brace for potential consequences for consumers, both domestically and abroad.

Russia and Ukraine produce and export an abundance of natural resources including crude oil, metals, and wheat. The Russian assault on Ukraine could have long-term ramifications for the global economy, which is already strained by the ongoing pandemic and enduring supply chain disruptions.

For the United States, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could intensify inflationary pressures and further increase costs for commodities including fuel and food. 

Amidst the volatility currently engulfing the global landscape, grocers are also monitoring a shift in the retail food landscape. March 2nd signified the start of the Christian Lenten season, which typically slows meat sales as Lent observers switch to other proteins including fish.

Seafood feature volume increased to 36% this week, from 28% the week prior. Currently, most seafood features stem from fresh/frozen fillets. The complex—which includes catfish, cod, and tilapia—averages $7.43 per pound this week, up nearly 41.5% from a year ago. 

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Mar 3 8:46 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Chicken Hatch Anchors Production Potential

With nine of the past twelve months year-over-year (YoY) pullet placement advancements in the books, chicken market participants are turning to the charts and wondering why headcount figures continue to reside below 2021...

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Mar 3 8:02 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Thigh Meat and Pork Hams: Competing for the Consumer’s Dollar

With springtime right around the corner, turkey market participants are consulting with the charts as they plot this year’s seasonal course...

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Mar 3 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Cold Storage Report Confirms What Players Suspect

With January’s cold storage assessment hot off the press, turkey market participants are digging through the stats as they attempt to gain some perspective on the supply side of the equation...

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Feb 24 8:58 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Farewell February; What's Next?

Wrapping up the final full week of February, wintry weather is in full force as back-to-back storms rip through the Eastern two-thirds of the country. Amidst the havoc, retailers are eagerly looking towards spring demand, which is boosted by seasonal influences including more favorable grilling conditions and holidays like Easter.

Retail protein sales are typically sluggish in February, leaving much to be desired among grocers. However, consumer retail demand for meat has remained strong so far this year despite a normal seasonal lull and higher prices for most items. In the near term, grocers will begin to shift their retail features from red meat and poultry towards seafood as Lenten observers begin a 40-day period of fasting and reduced meat consumption starting on March 2nd.

The seafood complex accounts for 27% of total protein features this week. Beef makes up 26.5% of feature volume, while pork closes in on 21%. Chicken claims almost 13% of ad space, followed by eggs...

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Feb 24 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: European Egg-Product Prices Soar amid Higher Input Costs, Covid, Bird Flu

A shift in consumer habits due to COVID-related restrictions, along with record-high inflation rates and the spread of Avian Influenza, has led to unprecedented price increases for European egg products in recent months...

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Feb 21 10:12 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: A Look at Protein Indices So Far in 2022

A common thread currently uniting the retail landscape for most proteins is inflationary pressure prompted in part by strong demand, persistent snags in the supply chain, tight supplies, and increased production costs. At present, Urner Barry’s beef, pork, and chicken retail feature indices are positioned at seasonal all-time highs.

Kicking off 2022, Urner Barry’s Weekly Retail Feature Beef Index displayed a contra-seasonal price movement relative to historical norms. The index normally sees a decline from early to mid-January. However, the beef index this year increased by 4.5% from January 3 through January 17 to $6.92 per pound, an all-time high for that week in history. The weekly index has been well above the 5-year average so far this year...

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Feb 18 9:00 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: The Widening Price Fissure Between Breasts and Breast Meat

Players within the turkey market have been keeping very close tabs on tom breast meat...

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Feb 18 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Wings: Assessing the Seasonal Undercurrent

With football season in the rearview, the collective attention of market participants has begun to divert away from the scoreboard and onto the price sheet, as they attempt to gauge which direction wing values will ultimately fly...

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Feb 18 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: What Caused The Recent Surge In Pork Loin Prices?

Amid the recent surge of bone-in loin prices it is a great time to dig into the details of why this has happened. When the Omicron Variant became a powerful force in the fall and winter of 2021, many consumers opted to stay home and cook more often than choosing food service, which resulted in a spike in retail demand...

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Feb 15 9:24 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Exports: An Admirable Conclusion to a Choppy Year

With 2021’s ending export figures now released, chicken market participants are digging into the stats to gauge how December’s exporting efforts ultimately played out...

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Feb 14 8:55 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Gauging Early Year Turkey Production

In light of the turkey market’s seasonally strong performance recently, this week we thought it would be a good opportunity to dig into the production side of the equation...

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Feb 11 9:03 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Super Bowl Sales Wrap Up; Latest CPI Data 

The Super Bowl is within arm’s reach and grocers this week are promoting party-centric items including finger foods, frozen pizzas, and beverages. An estimated 184.5 million U.S. adults plan to cheer on the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams this Sunday evening, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

Seafood and beef each secured nearly 33% of promotional activity this week, according to the Urner Barry retail survey. Chicken climbed to 11.4%, up from 9.2% last week. Pork cuts were about even with recent weeks and had a 19% share of retail buying opportunities. 

The National Retail Federation reports that a combined 35% of football fans are planning on either throwing a party or attending a party for the big game this year. In the latest 15 years, 67% to 82% of total spending for the Super Bowl has been allocated towards food and beverages, according to NRF data. Chicken is likely to be a highly sought-after item in the meat case and grocers are anticipating an influx of spending on both fresh and frozen wings...

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Feb 11 7:55 AM, UB Newswires

This Week in Retail: February Lull Lifted by Game Day Food Purchases

Among retailers, February is normally a sluggish period for protein sales since wintry weather foils efforts to grill outdoors (except for the select few devoted fans, that is). A disruptive winter storm is currently blasting through the central, northeastern, and southern U.S. following a Nor’easter that hammered the East Coast last weekend.

Along with the weather, other factors that typically contribute to sluggish meat sales this month include tighter budgets following holiday shopping in December along with the absence of major holidays.

Grocers are looking for ways to increase store traffic this month by featuring attractive prices, when possible, on cuts of meats commonly used by families to stretch their food dollars. This includes pork butt and beef shoulder, which are great for slow-cooking and can be used in leftovers. Moreover, the upcoming Super Bowl presents an opportunity for grocers to drum up additional interest in the meat case. The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will battle for the coveted Lombardi Trophy next weekend...

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Feb 4 9:02 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Whole Turkeys Establish Steep Seasonal Perch

It’s been a long time coming, but after another successful reunion in Atlanta, turkey market participants are back in the saddle this week and ready to get down to business...

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Feb 4 8:04 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Hatchability Struggles to Gain Altitude

Nine of the past twelve months have brought with them a notable increase in year-over-year (YoY) pullet placements, and with a 12.7% advance now in the books, December’s figures were no exception...

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Jan 31 7:53 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Wintry Weather Boosts Protein Sales

While major buying occasions are sparse in January, wintry weather helps support sales at the meat case this month as consumers stock up on protein for hearty, comfort food recipes.  At present, the National Weather Service is calling for significant winter weather in the Southern and Eastern U.S.

Buying opportunities for seafood and beef have dominated the protein complex so far this year. Seafood narrowly beats out beef for first in buying opportunities this week, claiming 28% of total ad volume. Beef accounts for 26%. 

Retail feature prices for most beef roast cuts—popular with cold-weather cooking—are higher than year-ago levels. Bottom round averages $4.98 per pound, a 15% YoY increase. 80% lean ground beef is up $1.04 per pound, or 37.4%, from last year at $3.82 per pound on average.  

Pork makes up 24% of total ad volume this week. Hams are featured at competitive price points since retailers are looking to clear out excess inventory after the holidays...

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Jan 21 8:02 AM, UB Newswires

This Week in Retail: Gearing Up for Thanksgiving 

With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, some households are proactively stocking up on holiday staples amid ongoing interruptions in the production and transportation of many commodities.

Frozen turkeys make up 89.3 percent of turkey ads this week—up from 52.1 percent the previous week. Feature prices for frozen turkey are in a wide range from 55 cents to $1.19 per pound. 

Typically, retailers will use whole turkeys as loss leaders during the holidays in order to increase customer traffic. That may be harder for grocers to do this year due to persistent snags in the supply chain. Amplifying the logistical issues affecting global trade such as a lack of labor and port bottlenecks is historically tight levels of whole turkeys in cold storage.

USDA reported total whole frozen turkeys in cold storage at the end of September at 258.4 million pounds, the lowest level for that month since 2006. At present, nearly all weight categories for whole turkeys, whether young hens or young toms, are quoted at all-time highs. Urner Barry’s benchmark quotation for young toms, East, frozen, 18 pounds is $1.43 per pound, a record high and up 27.7% from the prior five-year average...

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Nov 11 8:06 AM, UB Newswires

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