How much will inflation hit the Thanksgiving table? See what the polls are saying

The annual Thanksgiving Meal Price Survey was released Thursday by the American Farm Bureau Federation. He found that the turkey costs more than last year, at $ 23.99 for a 16-pound bird. This works out to around $ 1.50 a pound, up 24% from 2020. Photo via National Federation of Turkey

published on November 18, 2021 – 12:47
Written by Business Journal staff

On the list of things families around the Thanksgiving dinner table won’t be thankful for, inflation must be near the top of the list this year.

In fact, the cost of a feast for 10 people is $ 53.31 this year, up $ 6.41 or 14% from last year’s average, according to the annual price survey. of Thanksgiving Meals released Thursday by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The increase is a deviation from Thanksgiving 2020, when the average price was $ 46.90 – down 4% from 2019.

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 2020.

The price inquiry comes as inflationary pressure has become an attributed political football, according to a Progressive Farmer blog. The US Department of Agriculture issued its own statement finding that the increase in the cost of meals was only 5%. Meanwhile, the numbers cited by GOP senators varied from the two estimates.

“We know that even small price increases can make a difference to family budgets, and we are taking all possible steps to mitigate that. The good news is that the best turkey farmers in the country are convinced that anyone who wants a bird for their Thanksgiving dinner will be able to get one, and a big one will only cost a dollar more than last year, ”he said. Agriculture Secretary Tom said. Vilsack.

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. While the survey timeline is consistent with previous AFBF Thanksgiving surveys, 2021 brought some unique differences.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, grocery stores began posting lower-than-usual prices this year. In addition, the average price per pound of frozen whole turkeys was $ 1.07 for the week of Nov. 5-11 and 88 cents for the week of Nov. 12-18, an 18% drop in just one week. This means that consumers who have not yet purchased a turkey should be able to find one for less than the Farm Bureau average.

“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 explained. In addition, “the trend of consumers to cook and eat at home more often due to the pandemic has led to increased demand for supermarkets and higher retail food prices in 2020 and 2021, compared to at pre-pandemic prices in 2019. “

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.

“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 industry. ‘whole economy,’ Nigh said.

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