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Make your Thanksgiving grocery trip now—stores are running low on the staples

November 9, 2021, 3:22 PM UTC

Don’t count on being able to find a turkey at the last minute this Thanksgiving. While the annual feast is still more than two weeks away, many grocers are already running low. And other foods traditionally associated with the holiday are in short supply as well.

New data from IRI finds many Thanksgiving food products are already below where they were last year. Turkeys, for example, were over 60% out of stock by the end of October, as supply chain issues continue to hamper the grocery industry.

“Holiday shoppers should plan to shop early for those key ingredients that are experiencing significant out-of-stock levels or prepare to make creative substitutions,” the group warned.

The shortages (and higher prices) come as more people are planning to host friends and family. An Instacart/Harris poll found about one in three (37%) adults is planning to have 10 or more people over for Thanksgiving this year. (Those chefs are getting worried, though, with 48% of Americans hosting or contributing dishes to Thanksgiving dinner this year saying they are either very or somewhat concerned about getting everything they need.)

Turkey is not the only staple running short. Cranberry sauce is 20% out of stock. Yams and sweet potatoes are also less abundant than they were last year. And if you’re planning on a frozen pie instead of one that’s homemade, you might want to grab it soon, as supplies have been declining steadily. (Don’t wait around if you’re making one yourself, either. IRI says bottled cider and pie/pastry filling stock levels are low, and supply is diminishing.)

The good news? There’s a healthy supply of Stove Top stuffing still available.

“To ensure you’re able to get everything you need on your Thanksgiving shopping list, we strongly recommend starting your grocery shopping earlier than usual this year,” said Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s trends expert. “We recommend that people start shopping for their nonperishable and frozen ingredients in early November and load up on fresh ingredients as far out from the Thanksgiving holiday as feasible.”

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