The quintessential Thanksgiving image of a family pictured around the table waiting to devour a big bird may be no more.
Bloomberg reports that tiny turkeys will increasingly take center stage as many millennials are opting for a petite option. Experts suggest the reason for this switch is due to smaller family sizes, an interest in a more natural option, and an increased desire to avert food waste.
“People are starting to understand it’s not natural to grow turkeys up to 30 pounds,” said Ariane Daguin, co-founder and owner of food company D’Artagnan LLC to Bloomberg. “In general, that means they were penned up with no room to move around, and that’s why they’re fat like that.”
The sales of whole hens are down this holiday season, while shoppers have been opting for smaller birds (that weigh around six pounds) for the occasion.
Even Butterball is selling an all-natural mini version of their big birds-the Li'l Butterball, which is available at Walmart, weighs as little as six pounds.
One company, Bell & Evans, is working with breeders to make a new breed of tiny turkeys that consumers can eat year round. While the new breed isn't being sold to the public yet, owner Scott Sechler told Bloomberg the bird "fills out nicely" in comparison to some other undersized birds.
Sechler also made note that the 12-to-14 pound turkeys are still the best seller for the holiday, but probably not for much longer.