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Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Hits All-Time High

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, Thanksgiving dinner will cost Americans an average of 14% more this year, the highest annual increase in 31 years, though shoppers can still find bargains in grocery stores.

As the pandemic snarls global supply chains and the economic drag from the summer wave of COVID-19 infections fades, consumers in the United States are feeling the pinch with thanksgiving dinner cost jumping with inflation on the menu.

The Farm Bureau, which represents American farmers and the broader agriculture industry.

Attributes the increase in the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for ten people to $53.31 from a 10-year low of $46.90 in 2020 to inflation and supply-chain disruptions.

From Oct. 26 to Nov. 8, Farm Bureau shoppers compared prices for turkey, cranberries, dinner rolls, and other staples in stores.

Sherry Hooker, a 69-year-old retiree shopping at a Jewel-Osco store in Chicago on Thursday, said,

“The cranberry sauce, the stuffing, all those traditional things have gone up.”

According to the Farm Bureau, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to predict consumer demand, which has resulted in high prices.

Also average turkey prices, which are the centerpiece of many Thanksgiving dinners, are up 24% from 2020 to around $1.50 per pound.

The cost of the meal has increased by 6.6 percent without the turkey.

This is similar to the 6.2 percent increase in the U.S.

Consumer Price Index in October, which was the index’s largest annual rise since November 1990.Though it is slightly higher than the 5.4 percent increase in the Labor Department’s measure of costs for food consumed at home.

Thanksgiving prices have risen for the first time since 2015, and are now 7% higher than last year, according to Farm Bureau data.

Cinda Shaver, 62, of Chicago, said she now spends at least $120 a week at discount supermarket Aldi shopping for two people, up from $90 previously.

However, as the holiday season approaches, cooks can still find bargains.

On Thursday, Reuters visited two grocery stores and discovered that prices vary greatly. At a Big Y store in Newtown, Connecticut, the same basket of items the Farm Bureau checked cost just $40.01, including frozen turkey for 99 cents a pound.

Generic brand frozen turkeys were on sale for as little as 49 cents a pound at Jewel-Osco in Chicago.

According to the Farm Bureau, its customers checked prices about two weeks before most supermarket chains began selling whole frozen turkeys at lower prices.

According to the Farm Bureau, the average per-pound sale price for whole frozen turkeys was $1.07 from Nov. 5-11 and dropped 18% to 88 cents from Nov. 12-18.

“The good news is that the country’s top turkey producers are confident that everyone who wants a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner will be able to get one, and a large one will only cost $1 more than last year,” said US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement.

Based on government data, the US Department of Agriculture reported that prices for Thanksgiving staples are up about 5% from last year.

A 12-pound turkey, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, cranberries, and a gallon of milk were all tracked.

Key Facts

The $53.31 price tag represents a 14 percent increase over the average dinner for ten in 2020, which was $46.90.

The survey, now in its 36th year, compiles prices on 12 staple Thanksgiving items such as boxed stuffing and pumpkin pie mix based on shopper pricing data from 230 surveys completed in all 50 states.

According to retail data from the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the average cost of Thanksgiving staples increased only 5% year over year, according to similar calculations from the USDA.

Turkeys are the main cause of the price hike; according to the survey, a 16-pound turkey will cost $23.99 this year, up from $19.39 in 2020.

Basic Kitchen Essentials for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

The high cost of Thanksgiving dinner can largely be attributed to high inflation, which hit a 31-year high in October.

With rapidly rising meat, poultry, fish, and egg prices—caused by significant labor shortages at meatpackers—serving as a primary driving force behind rising consumer prices.

Reuters News

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