WILLMAR, MINN. — A recent Jennie-O Turkey Store survey asked consumers what their plans are for Thanksgiving in 2021. A majority of those polled will be attending a virtual Thanksgiving, in addition to an in-person celebration, and 42% plan on attending a ‘Friendsgiving’ gathering. 

The survey also found: 

Meal Prep 

  • Most consumers start meal planning for this special holiday in September. 
  • 36% purchase their turkey one week before Thanksgiving. 
  • Half buy their turkeys frozen and 29% fresh. 
  • While turkey is the marquis dish, many are intimidated to cook it because they’re scared it will turn out dry and overcooked (49%). 
  • A majority plan to cook enough food to have leftovers. 
  • Most will roast their turkeys (51%), with frying coming in second (34%) 

Turkey eating preferences 

  • 28% of those polled plan to eat between four and six pounds of food on Thanksgiving Day.   
  • 27% estimate they will eat seven-10 pounds; 20% aim to eat up to three pounds; 11% intend to eat 11-14 pounds; and 5% anticipate feasting on more than 15 pounds of food. 
  • A majority prefers dark over white meat. 
  • 53% will purchase a whole turkey vs. a turkey breast. 
  • More plan on buying a bigger turkey vs. smaller turkey (48% and 43% respectively) 
  • Most people surveyed are the ones cooking the turkey (37%), with their mother coming in second (24%). 

Starting Nov. 1, Jennie-O consumer engagement experts will be on hand around the clock to help alleviate stress around holiday meal planning at the company’s 1-800-TURKEYS hotline, through live chat on the Jennie-O website, and even by texting “Turkey” to 73876.  

From advice on how to prep and cook a turkey to recipes for side dishes and how to use leftovers, consumers can reach out for real-time support through Nov. 28 via the method that is most convenient for them. 

“While we’d all love to celebrate this Thanksgiving pre-pandemic style, we realize that many still cannot. Jennie-O is here to help, regardless of whether you’re gathering in-person or virtually,” said Nicole Behne, vice president of marketing at Jennie-O. “We have specialists to help with most any turkey challenge and tools that will ensure your Thanksgiving meal is a success.” 

Consumers can track their fresh or frozen JENNIE-O whole turkey back to its originating farm through the JENNIE-O Turkey Tracker. From calculators that tell the host how much turkey to buy, to full menus for Thanksgiving dinner and inspiring suggestions for preparing tasty leftovers, Jennie-O offers easy solutions for the holiday meal.