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Survey shows Thanksgiving dinner cost up

VW independent staff/submitted information

If you’ve been shopping for food for Thanksgiving dinner, no doubt you’ve noticed prices of staple items are up substantially this year.

According to American Farm Bureau’s 37th annual Thanksgiving dinner survey, the average cost of this year’s classic Turkey Day feast for 10 is $64.05, an increase of $10.74, or 20 percent more than last year’s average of $53.31.

The cost of turkeys has increased, along with other foods typically purchased for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables – the turkey – costs more than last year, at $28.96 for a 16-pound bird. That’s $1.81 per pound, up 21 percent from last year, due to several factors beyond general inflation. Farm Bureau “volunteer shoppers” checked prices October 18-31, before most grocery store chains began featuring whole frozen turkeys at sharply lower prices.

According to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service data, the average per-pound feature price for whole frozen turkeys was $1.11 the week of November 3-9 and 95 cents the week of November 10-16, a decline of 14 percent in just one week; and the share of stores offering feature prices rose from 29 to 60 percent. This means consumers just now shopping for a turkey should be able to find one at a lower cost than the Farm Bureau average.

“General inflation slashing the purchasing power of consumers is a significant factor contributing to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” said AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan. “The higher retail turkey cost at the grocery store can also be attributed to a slightly smaller flock this year, increased feed costs and lighter processing weights.”

Cryan said the supply of whole turkeys available to consumers should be adequate this year, although there may be temporary, regional shortages in some states where avian influenza was detected earlier this year.

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

In recognition of changes in Thanksgiving dinner traditions, the Farm Bureau price survey also includes ham, Russet potatoes and frozen green beans, in an expanded holiday menu. Adding these foods to the classic Thanksgiving menu increased the overall cost by $17.25, to $81.30. This updated basket of foods also increased in price (up 18 percent) compared to 2021.

This year’s national average cost was calculated using 224 surveys completed with pricing 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 looked for the best possible prices without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals.

Individual Prices

  • 16-pound turkey: $28.96 or $1.81 per pound (up 21 percent)
  • 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix: $3.88 (up 69 percent)
  • Two frozen pie crusts: $3.68 (up 26 percent)
  • Half pint of whipping cream: $2.24 (up 26 percent)
  • One pound of frozen peas: $1.90 (up 23 percent)
  • One dozen dinner rolls: $3.73 (up 22 percent)
  • Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $4.13 (up 20 percent)
  • 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.28 (up 18 percent)
  • One gallon of whole milk: $3.84 (up 16 percent)
  • Three pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.96 (up 11 percent)
  • One pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): 88 cents (up 8 percent)
  • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.57 (down 14 percent)

The cost for the classic meal was the most affordable in the South – $58.42, followed by the Northeast – $64.02, Midwest – $64.26 and West – $71.37. The expanded meal (classic meal plus ham, green beans and Russet potatoes) was the most affordable in the South – $74.90, followed by the Midwest – $81.53, Northeast – $82.76 and West – $88.55.

POSTED: 11/22/22 at 4:43 am. FILED UNDER: News