Americans can expect to shell out 14 percent more for Thanksgiving dinner costs this year than they did last year, making this year the most expensive Thanksgiving on record, according to the American Farm Bureau.
The average cost of the Turkey Day feast for 10 came in at $53.31, up from $46.90 last year, according to the bureau’s annual Market Basket survey.
The bureau said a huge spike in the price of turkeys this year drove the overall dinner cost higher.
Consumers can expect to pay an extra $1.50 per pound this year for turkey, with a 16-pound bird costing $23.99, on average, up 24 percent from last year, according to the bureau’s survey.
However, the bureau noted that the survey is based on prices listed from Oct. 26 to Nov. 8, and that prices in supermarkets have already begun to fall since then, especially for frozen turkey.
“Several factors contributed to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” AFBF senior economist Veronica Nigh said in a statement.
“These include dramatic disruptions to the U.S. economy and supply chains over the last 20 months; inflationary pressure throughout the economy; difficulty in predicting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and high global demand for food, particularly meat.”
Further, she added, “the trend of consumers cooking and eating at home more often due to the pandemic led to increased supermarket demand and higher retail food prices in 2020 and 2021, compared to pre-pandemic prices in 2019.”
The Farm Bureau’s survey checked prices of various Thanksgiving treats, including 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.
“Taking turkey out of the basket of foods reveals a 6.6 percent price increase compared to last year, which tracks closely with the Consumer Price Index for food and general inflation across the economy,” said Nigh.
Last week, the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index, which measures a basket of goods and services as well as energy and food costs, jumped 6.2 percent in October from a year earlier, the biggest one-year spike in over 30 years.
The overall food basket showed an increase of more than 5 percent from a year ago, with some categories like meats, fish and eggs seeing even bigger spikes.
Besides the turkey, frozen pie crusts, dinner rolls, stuffing mix and cranberries are among the items that saw the biggest year-over-year price hikes, according to the survey.
However, it looks like New Yorkers will be largely spared from the price increases.
The New York Farm Bureau said in a separate press release that the average Thanksgiving dinner cost rose just 1.7 percent in the Empire State this year.
“Challenges remain across our food system, but farmers haven’t stopped doing what we do best, growing quality, nutritious food,” said Darleen Krisher-Meehan, chair of New York Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee.
“Market disruptions have affected some prices, but overall, our volunteer shoppers found the traditional dinner did not see as high of price spikes for most items as in other parts of the country. The best plan of attack is to do comparison shopping to find the best deals near you.”