The cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people is expected to be more affordable this year due to a decrease in turkey prices. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the overall cost has decreased by 4.5% from last year, totaling $61.17 or $6.12 per person.
Turkey, being the centerpiece of the meal, contributes the most to the total cost. However, this year’s price for a 16-pound frozen whole turkey has dropped by 5.6% to $27.35. This decrease in price can be attributed to the recovery of turkey flocks from last year’s avian influenza epidemic, which led to record-high prices for the 2022 Thanksgiving meal, approximately $64.05.
For 38 consecutive years, the Farm Bureau Federation has conducted an annual survey collecting data from volunteer shoppers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. These shoppers visit local grocery stores and record prices for various items needed for a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
In addition to the turkey, the estimated cost of the meal includes other essential ingredients such as stuffing, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, frozen peas, fresh cranberries, celery, carrots, pumpkin pie mix, pie shells, whipping cream, and whole milk.
If other dishes like boneless ham, russet potatoes, and frozen green beans are added to the menu, the total cost for this year’s Thanksgiving meal would increase to $84.75 or $8.48 per person.
This drop in Thanksgiving dinner costs ensures that families can enjoy a delicious and festive meal without breaking the bank.
Thanksgiving Food Prices in 2021
The cost of Thanksgiving food has seen some significant changes this year. According to the Cranberry Marketing Committee, canned pumpkin pie mix prices have increased by 3.8%, while dinner rolls have gone up by 3% per dozen. On the other hand, whipping cream prices have dropped by 23% and fresh cranberries by 18%, thanks to a larger supply and higher imports, mainly from Canada.
It is important to note that the survey does not include the impact of free turkey promotions offered by many grocery stores to loyal club members who spend a certain amount in November. Additionally, the survey does not account for other food items commonly enjoyed on Thanksgiving, such as appetizers, a variety of desserts, and family favorites.
Although the overall price of a Thanksgiving meal has decreased, it still costs 25% more than it did in 2019 for a gathering of 10 people. The Northeast region has the highest cost at $64.38, while the Midwest offers the cheapest option at $58.66.
Despite food inflation and supply chain challenges, Americans only spend about 6.7% of their disposable income on food. This ranks the United States as the lowest among the 104 countries tracked by the Agriculture Department. In comparison, people in Singapore spend 8.4% of their income on food, while in Nigeria, the figure reaches a staggering 59%, according to the Farm Bureau Federation.