As Americans prepare for Thanksgiving dinner this year, they will likely see an increase in prices at the grocery store.
The cost of the traditional Thanksgiving meal is up 14% more than last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) annual survey.
Farm Bureau’s informal survey looked at the cost of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk. The total cost of the meal, which feeds a group of 10, was $53.31 or less than $6 a person.
Everything from potatoes to bread and cranberry sauce is more expensive than it was last year with turkey showing the largest increase of 24%.
Dr. Rob Johansson, Director of Economics and Policy Analysis at the American Sugar Alliance, said Thanksgiving is more expensive this year for a host of reasons.
A jump in consumer spending, supply chain delays, high transportation costs and stock building are all part of the increase in food prices.
“Almost everything is more expensive or harder to find this year than it was in 2020,” Johansson said. “From wooden pallets to shipping containers, from truck drivers to factory workers, to many of the food commodities found in a Thanksgiving meal: turkeys, corn, wheat, vegetable oil, etc. – it’s all increased significantly.”
A shift in consumer habits in the wake of the pandemic has also impacted prices, said AFBF Senior Economist Veronica Nigh.
“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,” she said.
Even with the increase this year, Americans still enjoy some of the lowest food costs in the world.
“American households spend less of their disposable income on food than any other country in the world,” Johansson said. “Thanksgiving is a big meal in America, and we don’t eat like that every day but it’s a day for Americans to be thankful for many things, including the fact they have the most efficient, safe and abundant food supply in the world. And it’s also a time to be thankful for the hard-working farm households that have been working through COVID and all the challenges over the last few years to stay in business and continue to provide such a diverse choice of food products. Where else can a whole nation go to the store and buy a 16-pound turkey for $1.50 a pound, or less?”
As we take time this Thanksgiving to slow down and recognize our many blessings, we at Farm Policy Facts remain grateful for the farmers that produce the bounty we enjoy.