WASHINGTON – The National Turkey Federation (NTF) said a federal weekly survey of advertised retail prices for frozen turkey hens showed an 18 cents-per-lb. drop, and remains a penny cheaper per lb. compared to the week before Thanksgiving a year ago. The US Department of Agriculture’s retail report assesses retail turkey prices by surveying 20,591 retail supermarket outlets through Nov. 19.

The average price of frozen turkey hens dropped to 90 cents per lb., down from 1.08 cents per lb. reported a week ago, the USDA said in its National Retail Report on Turkey. The NTF said even lower prices of nearly 49 cents per lb. can be found at many supermarkets that are offering discounts for frozen turkeys.

“Promotional discounts for frozen turkey hens are an excellent buy for shoppers, in addition to regular advertised prices,” said Joel Brandenberger, NTF president. “The growing and marketing of Thanksgiving turkey is handled specifically to meet the annual demand at Thanksgiving with discount promotions to bring shoppers in for the biggest grocery week of the year. Also, because of that featured promotion, stores work much earlier to secure their supplies by contracting with their wholesale distributors.”

NTF estimates Americans eat 46 million turkeys for Thanksgiving, and most of those birds are flash-frozen, produced and contracted for grocers beginning in March — before the onset of the avian influenza outbreak.