Lauren Tulig, RDN, CD, Dietitian Manager
Skogen's Festival Foods
NTF Advisory Board Member

Living in Green Bay, Wisconsin all my life and working for the Grocery and Tailgating Headquarters of the Green Bay Packers, I know a little bit about tailgating. When it’s a home game, fans tailgate at the stadium. When it’s an away game, fans “homegate” in the comfort of their homes. What do both tailgating and homegating have in common (besides the actual football game part)? Food. Lots of food. Football season is a great opportunity to encourage fans to serve up something unexpected at their tailgating or homegating party.

Here are 5 ways to encourage shoppers to tailgate with turkey:

Chili: When the weather gets cooler, chili is a tailgating must. Chili provides a great opportunity to introduce ground turkey to shoppers, as turkey takes on all the amazing bold and comforting flavors in chili.

Meatballs: Great on the grill or in the slow cooker, meatballs complement any tailgating or homegating party. This is an excellent opportunity to educate customers on how to best prepare turkey meatballs and share recipe ideas. Advise customers that adding moistening ingredients – like breadcrumbs, sauces, milk – and cooking meatballs ‘low and slow’ in the slow cooker or on the grill will help to yield perfectly moist turkey meatballs.

Sliders: Finger foods are perfect for parties, and sliders are a great way to showcase turkey. Deli turkey is delicious in cold sliders, like turkey cheddar sliders or turkey bacon ranch sliders. Ground turkey can be featured in grilled burger sliders, like mozzarella stuffed turkey sliders or spicy peanut butter turkey burger sliders. Customers are always looking for convenient options, so consider offering prepared turkey sliders in your deli or fresh meat department.

Pizza: A football food staple (in my book), homemade pizza is a great way to entertain guests and feature turkey products, like turkey sausage crumbles and turkey pepperoni. Utilize these turkey toppings in unique pizza combinations, like breakfast pizza with turkey sausage crumbles or grilled turkey pepperoni, mushroom and olive pizza. Whether in the oven at home or on the grill at your tailgate, pizza is a fan favorite amongst shoppers.

Salads: Every tailgate needs a fresh side, and turkey offers a fun twist to traditional tailgating salads. Educate shoppers on the nutritional benefits of turkey and using it as a way to lighten-up classic salads. Offer recipes in-store and online for turkey bacon in traditional 7 Layer Salad and Broccoli Salad, and deli turkey in traditional Waldorf Salad.