This year’s Thanksgiving dinner will cost American households about 14% more. Inflation and the continued disruptions in the supply chain are pushing prices up.
This includes the traditional fare of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pie, corn, and others.
A Thanksgiving Dinner Costs 14% More This Year
According to a new survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation, dinner for a family of ten will cost around $53.31. This is up to $6.41 from last year’s average of $46.90.
In return, last year’s average is down by 4% from 2019’s cost. It‘s the lowest average in the last ten years.
Several factors led to this year's increase in Thanksgiving dinner pricing. One of those factors is the fact that more Americans will cook at home due to the pandemic.
Veronica Nigh, the senior economist for the AFBF, said many factors are also in play. “These include dramatic disruptions to the US economy and supply chains over the last 20 months; inflationary pressure throughout the economy; difficulty in predicting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and high global demand for food, particularly meat,” she said.
Turkey Prices Up By 24%
The biggest item on the menu, turkey, went up by 24% compared to last year. The Farm Bureau said that turkeys cost an average of $23.99 for a 16-pound bird.
However, there are a few caveats. Many grocers posted lower prices later than usual this year. For example, a turkey bought on the week of November 5-11 will cost 18% higher compared to one bought a week later.
Nigh said that without the turkey, a Thanksgiving dinner will still cost higher than last year. “Taking turkey out of the basket of foods reveals a 6.6% price increase compared to last year, which tracks closely with the Consumer Price Index for food and general inflation across the economy,” she said.
Apart from turkey, a typical Thanksgiving dinner includes stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, and a pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Coffee and milk complete the dinner, according to the American Farm Bureau.
Other Food Items’ Prices Also Went Up
Pie crusts went up 20% while dinner rolls increased by 15% at $3.05 for a dozen. In contrast, stuffing registered the only markdown among the items.
Stuffing prices went down to $2.29 for a 14-ounce bag. This is 19% lower compared to 2020.
However, supply is another matter. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said there might be pocket shortages.
“There may be situations throughout the country where a particular grocery store may not have as many turkeys as necessary,” Vilsack said. At the end of the day, however, Vilsack said “there's going to be plenty of food on Thanksgiving plates for Americans.”
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone, Shop Wisely
Vilsack also acknowledged improvements in the supply chain over the past few weeks. “We know that even small price increases can make a difference for family budgets, and we are taking every step we can to mitigate that.
The good news is that the top turkey producers in the country are confident that everyone who wants a bird for their Thanksgiving dinner will be able to get one, and a large one will only cost $1 dollar more than last year,” he said.
This is the 36th year that the American Farm Bureau Federation conducted a survey on Thanksgiving dinner prices. The federation used pricing data for the same menu items from all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
In addition, volunteer Farm Bureau shoppers also checked prices in person and online using grocery store apps and websites. They managed to find the best possible prices without using promotions or deals.
Watch the CNBC Television video discussing why Thanksgiving dinner is more expensive this year:
Happy Thanksgiving! Did you have any problems buying ingredients for your Thanksgiving dinner? In addition, did you find prices higher this year?
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