Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Rises With Inflation, Other Factors New

Thanksgiving dinner is expected to cost 14% more this year, with rising turkey prices pushing that percentage up.

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 36th annual survey shows that the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 people is still affordable at $ 53.31, or less than $ 6 per person. This is an increase of $ 6.41 or 14% from last year’s average of $ 46.90.

The centerpiece of most Thanksgiving tables – the turkey – costs more than last year, at $ 23.99 for a 16-pound bird. That’s about $ 1.50 a pound, up 24% from last year, but there are several mitigating factors.

Farm Bureau volunteer buyers checked prices from Oct. 26 to Nov. 8, about two weeks before most grocery chains started offering frozen whole turkeys at significantly lower prices. So consumers who buy turkeys now can probably find better prices.

All of the items studied saw price increases compared to last year – with the exception of upholstery – which is moving with increasing inflation for all products. Removing turkey from the food basket reveals a 6.6% price increase over last year, which closely tracks the consumer price index for food and general inflation in the whole economy.

“Several factors have contributed to the increase in the average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” said Veronica Nigh, AFBF senior economist. “These include dramatic disruptions to the US economy and supply chains over the past 20 months; inflationary pressures throughout the economy; difficulty forecasting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and strong global demand for food, especially meat, ”she said. In addition, “the trend of consumers to cook and eat at home more often due to the pandemic has resulted in increased demand for supermarkets and higher retail food prices in 2020 and 2021, compared to at pre-pandemic prices in 2019. “

Members of the Illinois Bureau of Agriculture participated as buyers in the survey. In Illinois, prices are slightly above the national average, with the cost of a Thanksgiving feast for 10 people rising to $ 58.15, an increase of $ 4.84 or 8% from the national average.

“As the inflationary element kicks in, consumers can always be assured that there are great bargains to be found in their local grocery stores,” said Illinois Farm Bureau president Richard Guebert Jr. The food supply is strong, stable, and plentiful as Illinois farmers work tirelessly throughout the year to produce affordable produce. “

The shopping list for the Farm Bureau informal survey includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, butter buns, peas, cranberries, veggie platter, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and coffee and milk, all in sufficient quantities to serve a family of 10 with plenty for leftovers.

In recognition of changes in Thanksgiving dinner traditions, the Farm Bureau’s pricing survey also includes frozen ham, Russet potatoes, and green beans on an expanded holiday menu. Adding these foods to the classic Thanksgiving menu increased the overall cost by $ 15.41, to $ 68.72. This updated food basket also increased in price (up 14%) compared to 2020.

Grocery stores have a big impact on food prices, which vary by region. Yet despite fluctuating costs to consumers, farmers’ share of the food dollar remains stable at 8%.

“Farmers produced the food, but the food supply chain has faced its share of challenges over the past two years, and it is still adapting to the needs of American consumers,” said Guebert. “It’s important to remember that it takes a lot of hands and a lot of miles to get the traditional Thanksgiving spread from the farm to the grocery store.”

This year’s national average cost was calculated using 218 surveys completed with price data from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers checked prices in person and online using grocery store apps and websites. They searched for the best possible prices without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or shopping offers.

About Glenda Wait

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