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Richmond area grocery stores gear up for Thanksgiving rush

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Due to global supply chain issues, your Thanksgiving feast could be a bit pricier this year. Many are also wondering whether they will even be able to find some of their Thanksgiving favorites at the grocery store.

“We’re really busy around Thanksgiving,” Tom Leonard’s Director of Store Operations Andy Harris said. “We start talking to our turkey suppliers in March and April to make sure that we have everything that we need.”

Tom Leonard’s relies on local farmers. Harris says they’re not seeing the major supply issues that other big grocery store chains are grappling with. However, he still encourages people to get in early to get shopping done as more people plan to gather for the holidays to make up for 2020.

They expect to get their turkeys in stock starting Nov. 17.

“We sell only fresh turkeys,” Harris said. “In the past, we’ve done catering. The past two years we’ve shied away from that.”

Ukrops is not shying away from its holiday catering this year, but it will not offer fully cooked turkeys citing ingredient, packaging, transportation, and labor shortages.

In a Thanksgiving letter to customers, Ukrops also said it will also limit its menu and put a cap on orders.

Ingredients for your traditional turkey day dishes, like cranberry sauce and yams, could take a bite out of your budget and be harder to find.

In a statement to NBC12, Ocean Spray, the famous cranberry sauce supplier, says they are “experiencing a variety of supply chain challenges, including materials, transportation and other factors.” They also say “consumers may come across some availability issues at times.”

Kroger is one of the major grocery chains that folks depend on in the Richmond area.

“We have seen some minor disruptions with supply chain but we’ve been able to pivot and adjust by working with our extensive supply chain network,” Kroger Corporate Affairs Manager James Menees said.

According to the American Farm Bureau Association, food prices are up 3.7% this year. Kroger has had to get creative in order to ensure they stock the favorites and ensure they are not too pricey.

“There’s been some commodities where there have been disruptions but we’ve been fortunate to have alternate options in those commodities, so there shouldn’t be any issues,” Menees said.

Kroger is also hiring and looking for more hands on deck.

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