Fresh turkeys are selling out quickly in P.E.I. this year, and prices are up too.
Michael Frizzell, owner of Mike's Island Market in Charlottetown, said he's definitely noticed a turkey shortage this year.
Frizzell said he bought extra turkey this year and ordered early, but he still ran out of them about 10 days ago. He said it's unusual for his market to run out of turkey anytime in the year.
"Usually we're able to get a bunch at the last second and there seems to be more around, and that doesn't seem to be the case this year," he said.
Other provinces are seeing turkey shortages this season. Some producers in Nova Scotia say they didn't predict demand would increase this year, and in British Columbia, frozen turkey inventories are at their lowest in more than 20 years.
Frizzell said beef and many other meats have gone up in price. He thinks the problem isn't limited to the meat industry.
"I'd say just general inflation, you know, [will] increase the price on a lot of commodities," he said.
Paul Larkin is one of the operators of Larkin Farms in New Glasgow, P.E.I. He said costs for feed, transportation and packaging have all increased.
"Anybody that's running a business, it's every time you buy something, it's costing more to buy it than the last time you bought it," he said.
Larkin said turkey demand has been up all fall. He's not sure of the factors driving demand, but he has noticed more Islanders trying to support local companies.
Larkin said that while turkeys in the seven to eight-kilogram range are gone, some 10-kilogram ones remain.
Smaller turkeys are bigger in popularity
He thinks the preference for smaller birds is likely because of COVID-19 gathering limits and Islanders having smaller holiday dinners.
Larkin said his farm will be low on inventory in the new year if demand continues at the same rate. But he's not sure if that will be the case with COVID-19 restrictions getting tighter on P.E.I.
Larkin said Islanders still on the hunt for a Christmas turkey should visit a Sobeys or Atlantic Superstore location.
"Go there to get it and hopefully everybody will get one," he said.