By John Hugh DeMastri
The cost of a typical Thanksgiving dinner this year will increase by roughly 20% compared to last year due to a combination of inflationary and supply chain pressures sending the price of food soaring, according to a Wednesday estimate by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
The price of a “Classic Thanksgiving Dinner,” comprised of a 16-pound turkey, milk, vegetables and pie mix among other ingredients, rose to $64.05 in 2022, up from $53.31 in 2021, and far above the 10-year high of $46.90 set in 2020, according to the AFBF. While a new strain of the bird flu has led to regional shortages and contributed to the 21% price hike for a 16-pound turkey, the AFBF does not anticipate a nationwide shortage, in a press release.
The price of stuffing was up 69% compared to last year, dinner rolls were up 22%, pie mix was up 18%, milk was up 16% and sweet potatoes were up 11%, according to the AFBF. The only major ingredient to see a decline was cranberries, which were down 14%.
“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 AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan in the press release. “Other contributing factors to the increased cost for the meal include supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine.”
AFBF volunteer shoppers checked prices at a variety of grocery stores from all 50 states and Puerto Rico from Oct. 18-31, before typical discounts offered in advance of Thanksgiving, meaning that consumers will likely be able to find a deal lower than the AFBF estimate, according to the Bureau.
Noting that consumer habits had shifted since the AFBF first began estimating Thanksgiving dinner prices in 1986, the group began including an “Updated Thanksgiving Dinner” in 2018, which included four pounds of ham, five pounds of Russet potatoes and one pound of green beans in addition to the Classic menu. When these items are included the Updated dinner costs $81.30, up 18% from last years’ $68.72 and up 35% from $60.11 in 2020.
In October, the price of food was up 11.2% overall, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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