published : 2023-11-15
The Cost of Thanksgiving: A Historical High with a Ray of Hope
Turkey prices are projected to decrease as Thanksgiving holiday nears
The cost of Thanksgiving, though lower than last year, will still be historically high, adding another pain point for consumers.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 38th annual survey, the average cost of the classic holiday feast for 10 people this year is estimated at $61.17. That's down 4.5% from last year's record-high average of $64.05.
Still, compared with pre-pandemic times, the cost of the turkey feast is about 25% higher, underscoring the true impact that supply costs and inflation have had on food prices in recent years.
A big reason the overall price decreased this year is due to lower turkey costs. This year, a 16-pound turkey is about $27.35, roughly 5.6% lower per pound in price, according to the data.
To gather the data on turkey prices, the Farm Bureau sent out shoppers to check prices at grocery store chains during the first week of November. That was before most chains 'began featuring whole frozen turkeys at sharply lower prices,' according to the bureau.
Data from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service showed how prices for whole frozen turkeys declined even further later in the month. This also means that there may be additional savings in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
"Traditionally, the turkey is the most expensive item on the Thanksgiving dinner table," said AFBF senior economist Veronica Nigh. 'Turkey prices have fallen thanks to a sharp reduction in cases of avian influenza, which have allowed production to increase in time for the holiday.'
Even with prices easing a bit, high inflation is still persisting and 'continues to hammer families across the country, including the nation’s farmers,' said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. He added that 'growing the food families rely on is a constant challenge for farmers because of high fuel, seed, fertilizer and transportation costs, just to name a few.'