Turkey shortage? Not really

(Sandra Ecklund/WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- It all started with a press release from a grocery chain in New England, saying Butterball had announced a turkey shortage.

Big Y released the information on Nov. 13 and by Monday morning, headlines around the nation were announcing a full blown turkey shortage.

Headline from Fox News: 'Butterball warns of turkey shortage'TIME: 'Everybody Panic: Butterball Says There's a Turkey Shortage'Washington Times: 'Butterball faces turkey shortage as Thanksgiving nears'

That's not really the case, though. You have to read the release in context.

Butterball Turkeys has just announced to officials at supermarkets around the country including Big Y World Class Markets that there is a national shortage of their large fresh Butterball turkeys for this Thanksgiving. This shortage involves only Butterball brand large fresh turkeys of 16 pounds or more and not frozen or smaller weight fresh Butterballs. In addition, it does not affect any other brands of fresh turkeys. This shortage is from Butterball brand large fresh turkeys only.

View the original release from Big Y here.

"We experienced a decline in weight gains on some of our farms causing a limited availability of large, fresh turkeys," Stephanie Llorente, a spokeswoman for Butterball, said in a written statement to the Associated Press. "While we are continuing to evaluate all potential causes, we are working to remedy the issue. We sincerely regret the inconvenience that some of our customers have experienced as a result of this issue."

Does panic over a ruined Thanksgiving dinner attract readers and viewers? Yes. But it's not the truth.

There are plenty of other turkeys in the sea, so to speak. According to the AP, Butterball only provides about 20 percent of the nation's turkeys, both fresh and frozen, all year.

Not only will there be plenty of Butterball turkeys (frozen and smaller sized) on store shelves, but other brands of turkeys as well.

Publix has a lot of Butterball turkeys along with their own Publix brand in stock. Frozen turkeys are available now but the fresh turkeys won't be put out until Wednesday.

BiLo offers frozen Butterball and HoneySuckle White brand turkeys. The only fresh turkey they had on shelves Monday afternoon was turkey breast but their stock will be filled Wednesday as well.

One thing Lowcountry residents might miss is the free turkey they used to get using the Piggly Wiggly Greenbax program.

The chain was sold to Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter in September.

Fear not. Another grocery chain in the Charleston area is making up for the loss but you have to act fast. Harris Teeter is giving away a free 10-12-pound frozen Harris Teeter brand turkey to anyone who spends $100 in groceries.

The promotion only runs through Wednesday.

Food Lion has a 'Free Holiday Dinner' promotion that ends Nov. 26 but if you haven't started, you're already too late. It involves making a $40 purchase and using their MVP Card to get a weekly ticket. Turn in six of those tickets and you get a $20 coupon.

There are even options if you don't want to cook the turkey yourself.

Bojangles' is offering their Seasoned Fried Turkeys again this year. Cajun flavor lovers can visit participating Bojangles' locations to pre-order a fully cooked 10 to 13 pound bird. Click here to find a location near you.

You could even go whole hog and have Thanksgiving catered. Local eatery Cru Cafe is offering a full Thanksgiving Dinner for $35 per person with a four-person minimum. You get salad, turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, choice of potato, choice of vegetable and a homemade pie.

Click here to info on how to have your Turkey Day dinner delivered.

Do you know of a turkey day promotion that we missed? Comment in the section below.