November 18, 2012

Something to be thankful for: The low cost of holiday turkey

Grocers slash prices to lure shoppers who will buy side dishes, basters and more.

By Jessica Hall
Staff Writer

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Frozen turkeys, at 49 cents a pound, sit at a Portland Hannaford store. The top local price for a frozen turkey last week was $1.89 a pound at Whole Foods.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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Several items dropped in price from last year, such as whipping cream, cubed bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, whole milk, fresh cranberries, peas, pumpkin pie mix and pie shells, the farm bureau found.

"The overall message is that for many retailers, their costs are up, but their ability to pass that on to consumers hasn't gone on," Hertel said.

A survey of stores in the Portland area showed that prices for the same feast ranged from $28.72 at Hannaford to $67.67 at Whole Foods. The results in a Maine Sunday Telegram survey included the lowest available price for each item, and took into account store brands and promotions using customer loyalty cards.

Hannaford kept its frozen turkey price at 49 cents a pound -- the same as last year. Hannaford declined to say how many turkeys it sells during the holidays. Shaw's said its lowest price was 69 cents a pound, up from 49 cents a pound last year.

Traditional grocers face more competition from discounters such as Walmart and Target, which have become more aggressive in their food sales. Also, shoppers are no longer loyal to one retailer, analysts said.

"I go to Walmart, Hannaford, Shaw's -- whatever has the best price on the things I need. I get a few things in each place," said Joyce Walley of Woolwich. "I'm loyal to good prices."

Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:


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Additional Photos

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The average cost of feeding 10 people the 12 items typically served at Thanksgiving is expected to be up only slightly from last year.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer


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