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Thanksgiving Dinner Will Be 20 Percent More Expensive This Year

This year’s Thanksgiving dinner will cost an average of 20 percent more than in 2021, according to a new report.

The Farm Bureau’s annual survey tracks the average cost of a classic Thanksgiving feast for ten.

In 2022, the average feast cost for ten people is estimated to be $64.05 — a 20 percent increase from the $53.31 average last year.

“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% from last year, due to several factors beyond general inflation,” the report states.

Farm Bureau sent “volunteer shoppers” to scan the prices from October 18-31, before most grocery store chains began featuring whole frozen turkeys at lower prices for the holiday season.

Shoppers for the organization check prices for 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.”

“According to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service data, the average per-pound feature price for whole frozen turkeys was $1.11 the week of Nov. 3-9 and 95 cents the week of Nov. 10-16, a decline of 14% in just one week; and the share of stores offering feature prices rose from 29% to 60%,” the report explains. ‘This means consumers who have not yet purchased a turkey should be able to find one at a lower cost than the Farm Bureau average.”

AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan noted that while inflation is a significant factor increasing costs, they are also being impacted by supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine.

“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 Cryan.

“Other contributing factors to the increased cost for the meal include supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine,” Cryan said. “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 noted that while there should be adequate amounts of turkeys available for shoppers this year, there may be some regional shortages in states that were heavily impacted by the avian influenza outbreak earlier in the year.

“Farmers are working hard to meet growing demands for food – both here in the U.S. and globally – while facing rising prices for fuel, fertilizer and other inputs,” Cryan explained.

AFBF President Zippy Duvall warned that Americans should not take the food supply for granted during these times.

“We should not take our food supply for granted,” said Duvall. “Supporting sustainable productive agriculture in the U.S. and globally is imperative. As many of us gather with family and friends for a special meal, it’s a time for giving thanks and doing our part to help those who can’t afford a big holiday feast,” he added. “State and local Farm Bureaus across the country have strong partnerships with local food banks and I’m proud of their collective efforts to help ensure no one goes hungry.”

The report found that the average prices of individual items are as follows:

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