From sandwiches to burgers, turkey is consumed year round but it is the final months of the year when turkey takes the spotlight as a staple of Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.
Foster Farms' Turlock plant produces turkey for the West Coast with fresh turkey distribution ranging from San Diego to Seattle. The turkeys are raised locally in Northern California and then brought to the Turlock plant for production purposes that require slaughter, dressing, and packaging. Turkey production is not only reserved for the holidays, but is a year round effort for Foster Farms that increases during Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.
“What people don’t realize is that a large part of the turkey business is ground turkey. It is consistently used as a meat substitute because it is leaner and healthy and November and December are really our main whole bird season,” said Ira Brill, director of communications at Foster Farms.
In 2012, California was the sixth largest producer of turkeys and Foster Farms was the seventh top turkey processor at 274 million pounds of live turkeys processed.
It's not only the whole turkey processing that increases during the holidays for Foster Farms; the season also brings more traffic to the company's website. During the holiday season, traffic on the Foster Farms website increases as consumer search for directions on how to properly cook their turkey as it is often the hardest endeavor of the holiday. Foster Farms used to operate a turkey hotline that consumers could call for directions on how to tackle cooking their turkey, but have since gone digital allowing consumers to access directions on their website at any time. Significant efforts are also made in the plant to ensure that Foster Farms’ turkeys get to consumers’ tables in a healthy and wholesome fashion.
“What makes Foster Farms turkey production unique is that it is Foster Farms. We guarantee quality and do everything we can to ensure that we produce a quality turkey that makes for a great Thanksgiving. I think the people at our plant are really dedicated to that purpose,” said Brill.