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Talking turkey

October 28, 2010
By Carissa Nath

AURI meat scientist

Poultry production and processing are important sectors of Minnesota's economy. In fact, the state is among the top producers of turkeys and chickens in the nation and is home to such well known poultry companies as Jennie-O and Gold 'n Plump. These leaders are shining examples of how innovative companies are helping to grow the industry.

The poultry industry has done a great job of growing both its domestic and global markets into the exceptional industry that it is today.

Modern turkey producers are able to produce birds that are five pounds heavier yet require half the feed needed for each pound of gain compared to turkey production in the 1940s. The poultry industry has been very resourceful in its ability to produce convenient, easy to prepare and versatile products to meet consumer demands. In fact, production of ready-to-cook chicken production jumped from 426 million pounds per week in 1991 to 735 million pounds in 2008.

Ethnic flavor profiles in meat products have seen increased demand over the last 10 years and will likely continue to grow.

Since poultry meat has a very subtle flavor, especially when compared to beef, it can handle the application of stronger, bold flavors.

We are seeing more and more consumers seek products with unique flavor profiles in the meat case. By offering products with a wide variety of flavor options, processors are capitalizing on that demand.

With the winter holidays on the not too distant horizon, poultry demand, especially for turkey, has traditionally seen a season increase.

Many Thanksgiving and Christmas Day dinners wouldn't be complete without turkey as part of the family feast. But thanks to innovative processors offering ready to eat entrees that can be baked, grilled or used in unexpected ways, demand has become steady throughout the year.

For more information on AURI, visit our website at or give us a call at 507-537-7440.



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