The cost of your Thanksgiving dinner will be slightly less than last year, according to a new survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The average cost of the traditional dinner for 10 people will be $61.17, down 4.5% compared to last year.
The decrease in the total cost is mostly attributed to a decline in price of the dinner’s mainstay: turkey. The price for a 16-pound turkey is $27.35, which is down 5.6% from last year. Veronica Nigh, senior economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the outbreak of avian influenza in 2022 devastated the turkey population, but now the number of impacted turkeys is down.
The cost of the meal is still 25% higher than it was in 2019, Nigh said.
“But directionally, things are looking up,” she said.
The Farm Bureau conducts the survey every year, working with a handful of volunteer shoppers who survey grocery stores before turkey prices are marked down before Thanksgiving.
The prices they found:
- 16-pound turkey: $27.35 or $1.71 per pound (down 5.6%)
- 14-ounces of cubed stuffing mix: $3.77 (down 2.8%)
- Two frozen pie crusts: $3.50 (down 4.9%)
- Half pint of whipping cream: $1.73 (down 22.8%)
- One pound of frozen peas: $1.88 (down 1.1%)
- One dozen dinner rolls: $3.84 (up 2.9%)
- Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.95 (down 4.4%)
- 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.44 (up 3.7%)
- One gallon of whole milk: $3.74 (down 2.6%)
- Three pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.97 (up .3%)
- One-pound veggie tray (carrots and celery): $.90 (up 2.3%)
- 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.10 (down 18.3%)
Julie Percival, regional economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said food prices looked better than they did in 2022.
“It looks like prices are going to be pretty stable,” Percival said. “But it doesn’t look like we’re going to have any more of those rapid accelerations, like we were seeing last year, that really take a bite out of everybody’s wallet.”
Don’t assume farmers come out as winners from higher food prices at the grocery store. Cheaper prices for consumers doesn’t necessarily mean farmers are doing well. For every dollar spent, 14 cents goes back to the farmer, Nigh said. Farmers are also facing higher prices in supplies to maintain their business, such as fuel and fertilizer, she said.
Grocery store chains typically use turkeys to attract shoppers to the stores. She said Farm Bureau members are not just going to one store to save money.
“They’re shopping from store to store for the best price on particular items,” Nigh said. “So taking advantage of the in-store specials at one grocery store, and then going across town if there is another grocery store in your town to take advantage of those lower prices.”
Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @sbodine120.
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