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Millennials Are Choosing Smaller Turkeys Over Butterball Behemoths This Thanksgiving

Plus, Dunkin’ is about to debut its new line of espresso drinks in hopes of taking on Starbucks, and more food news

Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Thanksgiving turkeys are getting smaller

Millennials, those young whippersnappers long derided by older generations, are reaching the age when they begin to host their own Thanksgiving meals. Rockwellian oversized birds have been the norm on Thanksgiving tables for years, but it appears these new T-Day hosts are taking their cues from TV chefs who claim smaller is better. Or, perhaps other factors are in play. “Smaller families, growing guilt over wasteful leftovers, and a preference for free-range fowl have all played roles in the emergence of petite poultry as a holiday dinner centerpiece,” reports Bloomberg.

Turkeys in the 12-to-14-pound weight class are still the best sellers this holiday season, and Butterball still offers behemoths weighing up to 30 pounds. But, diminutive fowl, weighing as little as six pounds for a whole bird, is on the rise. Inventories of whole hens (smaller, female turkeys) are reportedly down 8.3 percent from last year, while whole toms (the larger males) are up 6.9 percent.

“Food waste is becoming an increasingly concerning issue,” Michael Averbook, a food and drink analyst at Mintel Group, tells Bloomberg. “Leftovers are part of the fun and tradition of the holidays, and this may be a small step for individuals to feel less wasteful and socially responsible.”

And in other food news ...

  • Hoping to lure some customers from Starbucks, Dunkin’ is rolling out its new line of espresso beverages —including a flat white — this Friday. The company is also hinting it may open a location on the Bucks’s home turf of Seattle in the next few years. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
  • Oh god, there’s an avocado shortage. For those who can’t imagine going through life without guac, Chipotle is here to help, at least for the time being. The company is currently having no trouble acquiring all of the avocados it needs. [Gothamist, The Packer]
  • Here’s a roundup of national restaurant chains that will be open on Thanksgiving Day. [People]
  • In-N-Out Burger fanatics, don’t read this. Gustavo Arellano has a searing takedown of the West Coast chain: “The best part of an In-N-Out hamburger is the lettuce — it’s crunchy and moist. And when that’s the best you can say about a burger, you’re not saying much.” Ouch. [Journal of Alta California]
  • Gwyneth Paltrow’s food, lifestyle, and wellness brand, Goop, may be headed to the small screen with its own television show or network. Details are scarce thus far. [Page Six]
  • That millennial pink chocolate — officially known as “ruby chocolate” — that was invented by a Swiss chocolatier last year will soon be available in the United States. Truffles will be sold by Chicago-based luxury candy company Vosges Haut-Chocolat. [NY Daily News]
  • This week marks Milk Bar’s 10th birthday, and to celebrate, dessert genius and Chef’s Table star Christina Tosi is doing a Reddit AMA at 4:30 p.m. ET. [@ChristinaTosi on Twitter]
  • World Central Kitchen, hero chef José Andrés’s non-profit that provides aid to victims of natural disasters, is serving meals at 18 locations in California as wildfires ravage the state. [@chefjoseandres on Twitter]
  • And, finally, teen chef Flynn McGarry, the star of a new documentary, showed Stephen Colbert how to cook beets last night on the Late Show. [YouTube]