The holidays are going to look a little different this year. It's likely that some of the family won't be traveling in order to minimize the risk of COVID-19. For the families changing up the plans and serving a smaller crowd, one 4th Generation Turkey Farmer is stepping up to the plate with suggestions.

"We’re going to see a lot of first-time hosts and smaller gatherings this year, which means shoppers will be looking for products that are easy to prepare and aren’t meant to feed a large crowd," says Heidi Diestel, fourth-generation turkey farmer, Diestel Family Ranch. "I think approachable options like smaller whole turkeys and boneless roasts will be popular."

Retailers can prepare for the unusual holidays by spotlighting products that cater to smaller gatherings, and by setting up displays with entertaining basics for first-time hosts, Diestel says. Instead of offering the largest turkeys on the market, display smaller options ranging from 6-9lbs.

"Thanksgiving might look smaller this year, but it’s no less special! Diestel’s No Antibiotics Ever, Non-GMO Project Verified and organic petite whole turkeys are 6-9lbs but still feature a wonderful meat-to-bone ratio because they’re slow grown and raised to their naturally intended weight. Another great option for smaller gatherings is Diestel’s Non-GMO Project Verified Holiday Cook-in-Bag Turkey Breast Roast, which comes brined, lightly seasoned and ready to roast in a BPA-free bag. At just under four pounds, it serves 6-8 guests and is ready in under two hours. Diestel also offers several fully cooked turkeys that simply need to be re-heated."

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The pandemic has changed a lot, but it doesn't change what we can still be grateful for. For Diestel Farms, not much has changed in their supply chain since the start of the pandemic. Working with regenerative farming techniques, the farmers at Diestel continue to utilize a composting program, which benefits topsoil growth, reduces soil erosion, and encourages organic production without the use of artificial fertilizers or chemicals, the company says. Additionally, the farm uses a membrane water filtration technology which allows the reuse of water.

The company has also been able to focus more on educating, specifically on theirblog. "We’re offering more resources for ‘first-time’ roasters, including a five-part series covering everything you need to know to plan agreat holiday meal. We’ve also had more discussions with our retailers about what types of products are going to be in demand, and we did our best to have smaller breeds and smaller roasts available for our customers."