Overall food prices are up for the last year, and that means paying more for Thanksgiving dinner.

In its 36th annual survey, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) revealed Americans will pay 14 percent more for the Thanksgiving feast.

Disruptions in the supply chain, inflation and food demand since the pandemic are driving up the cost.

“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,” said Veronica Nigh, senior economist for the bureau.

“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.”

On average, a Thanksgiving meal for 10 will cost $53.31, or $6.41 more, than last year’s average of $46.90.

The cost for a 16-pound turkey, the survey found, is $23.99, up 24 percent from last year. However, many grocery stores now have turkeys on sale at bargain prices and consumers will likely pay less for them.

The bureau surveyed prices from Oct. 26 to Nov. 8. But this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture data, grocery stores began advertising lower prices later than usual.

The price for whole frozen turkeys averaged 88 cents per pound the week of Nov. 12-18, a decline of 18 percent in just one week, according to the USDA’s national retail turkey report.

Prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs have been skyrocketing within the last 12 months, taking a bite out of consumers’ wallets.

Grocery prices across major grocery store food groups are up 5.4 percent for the last 12 months, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics recent report.

“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.

The Farm Bureau survey factored in enough stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee, and milk to feed 10 people with leftovers. Costs for nearly all those ingredients increased.

A package of two frozen pie crusts is up 20 percent and a dozen dinner rolls will cost consumers 15 percent more this year. The only item that decreased in price was a 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing averaging $2.29, down 19 percent from last year.

Individual surveyed item prices:

• 16-pound turkey: $23.99 or approximately $1.50 per pound (up 24 percent);

• 2 frozen pie crusts: $2.91 (up 20 percent)

• 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $3.64 (up 7 percent)

• Half pint of whipping cream: $1.78 (up 2 percent)

• 1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.05 (up 15 percent)

• 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.98 (up 11 percent)

• 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.30 (up 7 percent)

• 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.54 (up 6 percent)

• 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.56 (up 4 percent)

• 1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): 82 cents (up 12 percent)

• Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.45 (up 12 percent)

• 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix: $2.29 (down 19 percent)

In addition, the Farm Bureau’s survey also included ham, Russet potatoes and frozen green beans, which upped the average cost. When added to a traditional menu, the cost increased by $15.41 to $68.72.

The Farm Bureau surveys pricing through volunteer shoppers by checking prices in person and online in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: