People are stocking up on frozen turkeys, with one discount chain selling 1,500 a day, a report says

Turkey
UK shoppers are prepping for Christmas lunch already. Maren Caruso/Getty Images
  • UK shoppers are stocking up on frozen turkeys and Christmas puddings at discount chain Aldi.
  • Shoppers are likely buying these key items in advance to avoid missing out later on in the year.
  • Ongoing supply chain issues in both the UK and US mean retailers and restaurants have product shortages.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

UK shoppers are stocking up on frozen turkeys weeks in advance amid fears that supply chain bottlenecks will limit availability of the Christmas favorite.

German-owned discount chain Aldi is selling around 1,500 frozen turkeys a day in the UK, four times the amount it normally sells at this point in the year, The Guardian reported. Sales of Aldi’s Christmas puddings, a traditional dessert eaten on Christmas day in the UK, are also up by 45%, per the report.

Shoppers are likely stocking up early amid fears that key items may run out later on in the year as supply chain issues in the UK drag on.

The US is dealing with similar problems, and experts say US consumers could struggle to secure their turkeys for Thanksgiving, especially smaller birds that are in short supply.

Retailers and restaurants across both the US and the UK have faced delays and shortages over the past few months because of a breakdown in the supply chain driven by worker shortages, including a lack of truck drivers – McDonald’s had to pull milkshakes from UK menus in the summer and peri-peri chicken chain Nando’s temporarily closed 50 stores because it couldn’t get hold of its main ingredient.

The UK government is taking steps to ease supply chain issues, especially when it comes to Christmas celebrations. It announced in September that it would issue emergency visas for poultry workers to come to the UK in the run-up to Christmas.

One of the US’ largest turkey suppliers, Shady Brook Farms, recently penned a letter to retailers and distributors saying that the “news is not promising” and that “the industry continues to struggle with production issues,” the New York Post reported earlier this year, citing the letter.

Despite consumers stocking up, Giles Harley, who heads up Aldi’s UK and Irish business, said that the chain was not expecting shortages during the holiday season.

“Supply is clearly a concern for the industry given the current challenges, but our teams have been planning this Christmas since the start of the year and we’re not concerned at present about supply issues,” he said, according to The Guardian.

Insider reached out to Aldi for comment but did not immediately hear back.