Turkey’s Better for Your Bottom Line

Substituting turkey for beef and pork can be better for your patrons’ health, as well as your bottom line. While meat prices are on the rise, turkey can be your go-to protein for profitable menu items.

The cost of beef is at a record high, even after adjusting for inflation. Prices aren’t predicted to fall anytime soon, as the Economic Research Service forecasts more increases in 2014 and 2015. Rising prices can be attributed to droughts in Texas and Oklahoma, along with other largely unpredictable factors—trading, the use of food for fuel, increasing global demand, and legislative action, to name a few.

Turkey’s other protein contender, pork, is also seeing steady price increases. Pork prices are now up 12% year-over-year. This is due in part to the PED virus, as well as pricier pork imports from European producers.

You can avoid passing along price increases to your customers by substituting more expensive items with cost-effective options. Turkey is your key to a wide range of creative, profitable offerings.

If you haven’t made the trade, now’s the perfect time. Use these ideas for inspiration:

  • SUBSTITUTE: Use pulled turkey in place of pulled pork for sandwiches, turkey bacon and sausage in place of traditional breakfast meats, and turkey burgers in place of beef patties.
  • OFFER: Offer turkey on your list of à la carte proteins that can be added to custom menu items, like salads and pizza. Sliced turkey, diced turkey and turkey medallions are all great choices.
  • ADD: Add more variety to your menu by using the same turkey product in multiple applications. Sliced turkey can work on a sandwich, in a wrap, on an open-faced melt or in a chef’s salad. Ground turkey can be used for sliders, meatloaf, tacos, burritos and more. Try to find at least three ways to menu every turkey product you order.

Visit our Culinary Center and E-Z Menu Ideas pages to find even more ways to serve turkey. Be sure to check back often—we’re always in the kitchen testing new, delicious recipes.


USDA Economic Research Service

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